Heathrow continues flight cap until October
Heathrow has been trying to “spin” how much progress they have made by stating that they have now got enough security staff with 2019 levels restored. They blame the delays partially on new staff and also on leisure travellers not preparing for security properly. This is not a new thing – we all know the situation where getting to the front of the queue and it seems to take people by surprise that they have to take things out. However, blaming your customers for your failures is never a good look.
Now despite the fact that they claim they are fully staffed, they have decided to continue their 100,000 departing passengers a day cap until 29 October.
Heathrow has apparently consulted with airlines but I can’t imagine most being too happy unless it allows them to blame Heathrow for their own staff shortages. We don’t know whether this will cause more cancellations, but I imagine this will be announced in the next couple of days. I am not expecting a large number to be cancelled as most airlines have already trimmed their schedules back, and leisure passenger numbers tend to drop once we get into September anyway. I suspect it’s more likely that BA will continue as it has done now and monitor numbers until they need to stop selling tickets to ensure they don’t exceed the cap.
Heathrow claims that “This will provide passengers with confidence ahead of their half-term getaways.” To be fair, this does mean that the issues we have seen over the summer should be less common, but it also means that it is helping to keep prices from Heathrow exceptionally high due to lack of capacity.
Heathrow say that the capacity limits will be kept under regular review and could be lifted earlier should there be “a sustained picture of better resilience and a material increase in resourcing levels, notably at some airline ground handlers which remains a core constraint on capacity at the airport.”
Heathrow launched a review of airline ground handling last week to understand how they can increase capacity in this area.
Heathrow Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker said:
“Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel. That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway.
“We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve.”
Iberia up to 15% off gift cards
Iberia has brought back their gift card offer of up to 15% when you buy a Gift Card by 21 August. You can then use them up to 1 year from the date of purchase and on Iberia, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum flights. It is not valid for flight+hotel or flight+car bookings.
As usual, I don’t recommend buying speculatively but if you are planning a flight with Iberia soon, it’s a good way to save some money. Iberia has something of a bad reputation. To be fair their IT is awful, and their customer service is not great. However, they have modern business class seats, and I enjoy the food onboard which has a very distinct Spanish flavor which I enjoy and is usually pretty generous in terms of food. The cabin crew are variable, but I have never had a terrible crew, and they are usually pretty efficient if not friendly.
You can find the offer page here.
New Intercontinental UAE offer – save £1000
Most travellers tend to head to Dubai or Abu Dhabi when they visit the UAE. However, there is a lesser-known option called Ras Al Khaimah, which is rapidly growing in popularity. It tends to be cheaper than Dubai but has plenty of 5-star hotels to choose from such as the Waldorf Astoria and Ritz Carlton. Most importantly, it is not dry like Sharjah! It’s perfect if you prefer somewhere a bit quieter than Dubai for a relaxing beach holiday.
One of the newest hotels to open there is the Intercontinental and as usual there are some good opening offers. Luxury Escapes has an offer that includes lots of extras as well as a Club room that adds up to a really good saving. If we look at the price for one of the cheapest days in January, the price on hotels.com is £429 without the half-board compared to £223 per night on Secret Escapes including lunch or dinner.
The new hotel features plenty of facilities, including a private beach, two swimming pools flanked by cabanas and sun loungers, and a spa offering traditional rituals like a Hammam and grain massage. When it comes to wining and dining, you have lots of choice with six restaurants and bars onsite: authentic Turkish mains at Levant & Nar, steak at the New York-inspired NoHo Bar & Grill, and the sleek Amarbar.
You can either choose one that is half board:
- Daily breakfast at Saffar
- Daily lunch at Saffar OR daily dinner at Saffar OR AED120 dining credit at NoHo Bar & Grill or Levant & Nar
- InterContinental Club access
- Inclusions valid for two guests
This costs £1119 for a minimum of 5 nights in a Club InterContinental Sea View Room.
Or there is an all-inclusive version:
- All-inclusive drinks at ShaSha bar and Saffar
- Daily lunch at Saffar
- Daily dinner at Saffar or daily AED120 dining credit at NoHo Bar & Grill or Levant & Nar
- Daily breakfast at Saffar
- InterContinental Club access
- Inclusions valid for two guests
The offer has some flexibility with up to 22 days prior to check-in a 100% refund of accommodation purchase price to Luxury Escapes credit being available. The offer is valid for travel until 30 September 2023 (bookings must be made before 31 July 2023).
You need to sign up for Luxury Escapes which can do here for free before you can book.
If you want something more flexible, it is worth checking with our partners, GTC, as they offer perks on the fully flexible rate as follows:
- Guaranteed late check-out
- $100 hotel amenity
- Complimentary breakfast for 2
Didn’t Holland-Kaye, a man more noted for the size of his bonuses than his ability to run an airport claim that all problems at LHR would be solved by the end of July about six weeks ago?
He needs to go, the only thing he’s demonstrating apart from the fact he can’t run an airport is that he’s also a stranger to the truth.
I think I read that he said that too much make-up was being taken through security hence helping to create queues. Was he blaming women for his job troubles?
Not sure he is blaming women personally,
Its the rise of carry on bags thats really behind the delays.
however, I can see his point after several trips through security at T5.
The regulation for liquids is a single clear bag full of liquids or gels in containers or bottles, whose volume is 100ml maximum.
The sticking point was bag size… you cannot grab the largest clear bag you can find and fill it full of your toiletries; the bag has to be the same size as the ones you find at the airport.
I wasn’t aware of this rule until I got stuck in a massive queue of people while security waited for offenders to decide which items they could live without (permanently as they were going into a bin!).
Having a daughter of 21, I know how much she pays for makeup and probably would rather not travel than lose most of her makeup (it may even be the cheaper option for her), so I can understand the heart wrenching decision when it could be in excess of few hundred pounds worth of goods you are being forced to dispose of.
If you insist on travelling with carry on luggage only to avoid long waits at a carousel, then you need to ensure your toiletries do not exceed the one small bag limit.
More so, ensure your carry on bag is not pushing the limits of size either, I have been delayed on a flight because the number of large bags wouldn’t qll fit in the overhead lockers. The airline staff had to then spend ages playing suitcase jenga to get them to fit and moving smaller bags under seats.
This led to chaos when we landed as people were having to walk up and down the aisle to find their bag that wasn’t anywhere near where they were seated.
I wouldn’t criticise anyone for avoiding checking a bag this summer. So many airports and airlines have lost way too many bags.
The rule on the plastic bag is actually one of approximately 20cmx20cm which is larger than the ones LHR have available.
I always carry the actual rules with me and have before now been told that LHR rules override the government ones! I asked for a supervisor.
The rules are here:
LHR and its incompetent ‘leadership team’ can continue blaming the entire world bar themselves. Nobody is listening. As for BA well their own ‘Yes Sir, no Sir. How can we stoop lower for you Sir’ attitude ( compared to Emirates who publicly stuck their fingers up at LHR and said ‘no chance’) is a tellingly bad look. That said I paid £1 each and 36k miles for CE LHR-BER-MUC-LHR and it ended up costing them £9558 for QF Q-Suites MUC-DOH-LHR and a better timed outbound to Berlin so if they wanna play stupid and cowtow to LHR be-damned how it affects their customers then i stand ready, able and happy to demonstrate to BA that if they wanna play stupid games then I’ll make the stupid prizes very costly as I have the knowledge on how to force them to comply with my wishes, not bend over to further suit their plans having already wrecked mine, and the time available to turn a 2hr flight into a 18hr one with a comfortable layover in the al mourjan
*QR obviously ????
You do know that Emirates made a very public “no chance” statement, but within 48 hours very quietly caved in…
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