- British Airways passengers received an email mid-air that their connecting flight had been cancelled.
- Staff couldn’t find their luggage at Heathrow and they had to travel to Edinburgh without bags.
- Heathrow is asking airlines to cancel flights at the last minute due to a lack of capacity.
Three British Airlines passengers say they received an email mid-air informing them their connecting flight had been cancelled.
Passengers told Insider that their flights from the US to Edinburgh, Scotland to watch the British Open golf tournament were affected by a series of canceled flights affecting airlines around the world.
Rainey Gref, Victoria Esparza and Robert Esparza left Austin, Texas on Sunday evening for London Heathrow, where they were supposed to catch another flight to Edinburgh, Scotland. They had booked their tickets through American Airlines, but the flights were operated by British Airways, one of its codeshare partners in the OneWorld alliance.
However, Robert Esparza said they received an email while en route to Heathrow that the flight to Edinburgh, due to depart at 11.45am UK time, had been cancelled. The email American Airlines sent to Graeff was sent at 6:43 p.m. Austin time — just after their flight took off.
They did not receive the email until landing at Heathrow at around 9.50am – just two hours before the second flight took off.
The subject line of the email read: “Please call to book a new flight.”
“One of your flights was canceled and we were unable to rebook your travel from LHR to EDI,” American Airlines said in the email, which was reviewed by Insider. The email did not provide a reason for the cancellation. “We apologize for the change in your travel plans.”
American Airlines said passengers can call their helpline to rebook their flight, request a refund or use the value of their ticket as credit for future travel.
On Monday, Heathrow asked airlines to cancel 61 flights scheduled for that day, saying it expected more passengers than it could handle at Terminals 3 and 5. British Airways uses Terminal 5 as its main base.
Graef booked her trip in November and spent $1,291 on round-trip flights, according to her booking confirmation reviewed by Insider.
Passengers said they were unable to book seats on another flight to Edinburgh and instead took a train, arriving at their accommodation at around 1am. Of BA’s 12 flights from Heathrow to Edinburgh on Monday, five were canceled and only one left on time.
All three passengers told Insider they also did not receive their checked baggage after landing at Heathrow and had to go to Edinburgh without it.
Graef said they were told they would be reimbursed for the canceled flight, train tickets, clothes and cosmetics within reason, but she has yet to receive compensation.
Separately, two other passengers traveling with two young children told Insider that BA had canceled their flight on Monday from Heathrow to Frankfurt, where they were due to connect with a flight to Hong Kong, with just a few hours’ notice.
They said it was the second time BA had canceled part of its flight back to Hong Kong, although they had received advance notice of the first cancellation.
Passengers said BA had no other flights available so they were forced to book with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. British Airways flight tracking shows three of its five flights from Heathrow to Frankfurt on Monday have been cancelled.
Have you been affected by the current travel disruptions? Or do you work at an airport or for an airline that is overwhelmed by staffing chaos and cancellations? Email this reporter at [email protected]