Virgin Atlantic said on Sunday night that it had been forced to cancel three flights scheduled to depart on 20th June after Heathrow Airport ordered flight capacity restrictions on all airlines that use Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.
The restrictions were introduced unilaterally by Heathrow under its ‘conditions of use’ after the airport suffered a major baggage system failure that led to a “carpet of luggage” outside Terminal 2 because there was nowhere else left to store bags that had missed flights.
Virgin Atlantic is cancelling flights to Los Angeles and New York JFK at short notice to comply with Heathrow’s capacity cuts but the airline said that it hopes to rebook affected passengers on alternative services the same day.
Heathrow has been suffering intermittent issues with its baggage system that has resulted in a massive backlog of suitcases that the airport is now struggling to shift onto departing flights.
The baggage system is now back up and running but Heathrow still ordered the capacity cuts on Sunday night in an attempt to clear some of the lost bags.
Passengers using the busy London airport have also faced long waits to clear security checkpoints in recent days due to major staff shortages. Problems are most acute at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, although Heathrow hopes to alleviate some of the problems by moving airlines to the recently reopened Terminal 4 in the coming days.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.