London Heathrow extends passenger cap through October

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(CNN) – of Europe”the heat of air travel chaos“The expansion is due to extend the passenger capacity limit at London’s Heathrow Airport until the end of October.

Overcrowding and staff shortages were one of the factors contributing to long wait times, lost luggage, delayed and canceled flights and other disruptions to airport security, as many travelers anxiously set off on their first pandemic holidays. Were.

Heathrow limited the movement of passengers at the airport amid the rush of summer vacationers 100,000 departures per day through September 11.

Now, however, the airport will extend that ban until at least October 29.

Heathrow’s COO, Ross Baker, said in a press release: “We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so if we are confident that everyone who works at the airport has access to service for our passengers. There are resources to give.” Statement.

The 29 October date covers the UK school half term, a popular holiday period.

According to air travel intelligence company OAG, some 761,756 people Passed through Heathrow in the week of May 16, 2022. It was the first time Heathrow had held the title of the world’s busiest airport since the start of the pandemic.

The same report also said that air traffic in Western Europe has tripled since the same period in 2019.

Heathrow’s representative noted in his announcement that several other airports such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam’s Schiphol and London Gatwick have also set passenger limits. Schiphol also lasts till the end of October.

However, Amsterdam’s airport cap is around . Is control emissions As part of a longer project to reduce air pollution, not because of the stress of summer travel.

What does this mean for travelers though?

as CNN’s Maureen O’Hare previously reported, It will not be up to individual guests to navigate the passenger cap themselves.

Instead, the responsibility will fall on the airlines.

Those who have already booked their tickets should assume that their reservation has been confirmed, unless they hear about the change or cancellation directly from the airline.

They will also be able to make new bookings, although flights may already be full and some airlines may reduce their flight schedules. It is likely that the lesser number of seats available and the possible panic of passengers for secure reservations, may lead to a substantial increase in fares.

Another thing to note: According to Heathrow, it is possible that the cap could be removed before October 29 if there is a “continued picture of improved resilience and a material increase in resource levels”.

Top photo by Rashid Nekati Aslam / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

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