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How much of the BA schedule is going to be cut in November?

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Over the last 48 hours, there have been a lot of rumours swirling around about the extent of the British Airways service cuts for November and early December.

Suffice it to say, it won’t look pretty. I haven’t written anything so far because there is a huge amount of speculation and not a lot of hard fact.

However, this email from Mark Muren, Head of Global Sales for BA, was just sent to the travel trade and is the first official word:

BA British Airways 777

Following the Government’s announcement of a new national lockdown for England last Saturday, we have been urgently reviewing our schedule for November.  Our focus is on keeping crucial air links open, bringing home the thousands of customers currently abroad, transporting vital goods, and ensuring people who are permitted to travel in and out of the UK for work, education and other reasons stipulated by the UK Government, can continue to do so.  We are doing everything in our power to best serve and support our customers, partners and colleagues during this challenging time.

In light of this announcement, we have taken the decision to implement a number of cancellations across our network. Policies are in place to ensure maximum flexibility for our customers.  If a flight is cancelled, customers will be entitled to a refund as per our standard customer guidelines. Our ‘Book with Confidence’ policy continues to offer the ability to change a flight, date or destination or request a voucher for future travel.

What is going to happen?

There was talk of the entire short haul schedule being scrapped and long haul becoming cargo only. There was also talk of the Government getting involved, allegedly because the airline – not unreasonably – didn’t see why it should run unprofitable services to keep the country open for business when it was not receiving state support.

It now appears that BA will reduce to a skeleton passenger service. It is not clear if the Government has agreed to underwrite some of these flights.

Some leisure routes will continue for a week or so to repatriate people as they come to the end of their holidays. Cargo flights will continue.

A report on Flyertalk from a BA employee states that all Gatwick long-haul leisure flights are suspended until 10th December.

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Comments (144)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • WinchesterLass says:

    Had my rearranged flight to Barbados from LHR on 7th December cancelled today and as a consequence my BA hotel booking too. ☹️

  • Jeff says:

    Fark this government.
    No Maldives for me.
    And BA was abysmal in dealing with the date changes.

    • AndyC says:

      Jeff, FWIW I’ve just been speaking with a recently returned individual working in the Maldives on a new hotel project who says there’s hardly anything open there and virtually no flights, in or out, either.

  • 1ATL says:

    Made a new redemption booking a few weeks ago using a FTV from a summer trip we decided not to take. Told the tickets will be issued in due course. The new booking still hasn’t been ticketed and the flights have now been cancelled. Is this going to cause problems when we as to be rebooked to a later date?

  • Lady London says:

    Yes. Even just one flight cancelled within a booking legally means cancellation rights apply to whole booking so you can request to move whole thing to a later date convenient to you.

    As it was their cancellation avios seats do not have to be e available on the flight you rebook to just any available q seat in same class.

    However theoretically you might encounter a stumbling block in that remaining on same ticket you can only choose new dates within a bit less than a year from the date your ticket was issued.
    Personally as the rights above are given to you by governing law, I regard that as purely an admin difficulty for the airline to resolve as the cancellation is not caused by you and I think they should just issue you a new ticket in that case. But plenty on here think it’s a problem.

    I think I would work out a date I would move it to with a fallback alternative and call them in normal working hours to see what they say.

  • Lynn says:

    Received notification my flight was cancelled and they are now processing a refund.

  • Tom says:

    I was due to fly to Reykjavik in December. BA cancelled the inbound flight ages ago but not the outbound..and due to separate bookings I wasn’t able to cancel. It now looks like you can’t book Reykjavik at all for December (next flight seems to be 1 Jan). Think I can finally expect a refund?!

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes once BA formally cancels the flight.

      Taking a flight off sale can be a prelude to cancellation but is not an actual cancellation until it’s actually cancelled

  • Lynn says:

    My flight to Funchal on the 4th December was cancelled

    • Sukes says:

      I’m just off phone to BA & entire call took 5mins to give them credit – no waiting at all on the normal refunds line & booking dealt with v efficiently & professionally. Advised refund to card could take up to 28days – my flights had already been cancelled – rebooked – and now cancelled again and needs to be ‘sent to the back’ to be manually worked for refund. Flight was domestic LHR to Belfast.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    San Diego now gone until 5th January – that’s our New Year escape definitely scuppered.
    Not that I thought USA would be open/sensible then anyway!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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