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British Airways has started moving Gatwick flights to Heathrow

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British Airways has started the process of moving Gatwick short-haul flights for Summer 2022 to Heathrow.

This follows the decision to close the short-haul operation at London Gatwick following the failure to reach agreement with pilot union BALPA over a new low cost operating structure.

Most flights are moving to Heathrow with the same flight number and the same departure and arrival times. You have no grounds for a free cancellation or for compensation for the cost of getting from Gatwick to Heathrow, since the two airports are treated as one for this purpose. That said, if you take British Airways to Money Claim Online you may get a positive decision – there is no point going to CEDR arbitration as BA is, technically, acting correctly.

British Airways BA A320neo

Some flights may be merged with existing Heathrow departures on the few routes which overlap between Gatwick and Heathrow.

Quite a few of the moved flights are showing as Heathrow Terminal 3, so it will be a bit of a novelty for anyone who has only used the BA facilities in Terminal 5 in the past.

Keep an eye on your seat allocation when you receive the email about your changed flight, although in most cases you will have retained your existing ones.

If there is no slot waiver given for Summer 2022, it seems highly likely that BA will forfeit some of its landing and take off slots at Gatwick. Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL do not have enough slack to take them all up, which will require British Airways to sell them or see them taken away.

It is only four years since BA paid a chunky but undisclosed sum to buy Monarch’s 155 weekly take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick. In retrospect this seems like an odd decision if the Gatwick operation really had been losing money for many years, as British Airways management has claimed.

For clarity, the British Airways long-haul operation at Gatwick is not affected by this decision. Based on previous years, up to 11 Boeing 777 aircraft could be based there during the Summer 2022 season.


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Comments (58)

  • Tom says:

    Seems to be some interesting award space opening up on new Heathrow flights too.. Seatspy told me about some new Tenerife routes that I managed to snag some great seats on in CE. Nice.

  • pauldb says:

    In the past BA have always treated these switches as cancellations, including sending a “Your flight has been cancelled email.” That meant they were willing to cancel for free or shift you to an alternative flight. Are they being more restrictive this time?

    • Hannah says:

      Got my cancellation email yesterday for my. BRI to LGW flight and was able to request full refund. Worked out well for me as last week when I heard LGW short haul ops were ending I checked alternative BA flight from Brindisi to LHR and it was a lot cheaper. Booked that knowing I’d get a voucher if no refund was offered from Bari

    • Genghis says:

      It’s a cancellation and treated as such under UK261.
      Indeed, BA note on the accept new flights page, “ There’s no extra cost for any changes and we offer a refund if you cancel your booking.”

      • pauldb says:

        I don’t entirely agree. The EU’s interpretation is that a same-city change is not a cancellation, though it’s less clear if such a (pre-Brexit) interpretation has any relevance in the UK. And of course BA has tipped its own hand in the past by notifying it as a cancellation.

      • Lady London says:

        A move to LHR from LGW is a cancellation even if flight number remains the same.

        Have you ever measured the road distsnce between Gatwick and Heathrow? Gatwick is in a place called C-r-a-w-l-ey that is completely separate from London. So it’s a switch of origin or destination to a new one. Which makes it a different flight.

        I would say MCOL, as they must enforce the law, is a better bet than CEDR where the arbitrator has the option not to and where the chance of a perverse decision is much higher.

        • pauldb says:

          And yet quoting from the EU guidelines:

          “A diverted flight by which a passenger finally arrives at an airport which does not correspond to the airport indicated as the final destination in accordance with the passenger’s original travel plan is to be treated in the same way as a cancellation unless:
          […]
          —The airport of arrival and the airport of the original final destination serve the same town, city or region, in which case, it may finally be treated as a delay. In such case, by analogy, Article 8(3) applies.”

        • Julian says:

          I think technically Gatwick is in between Crawley and Horley but from an administrative point of view its in the same West Sussex as Crawley is after the boundary around the airport land was moved from Surrey in to West Sussex many years ago.

          From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive,_Gatwick_Airport:-

          The Borough of Crawley was extended northwards in 1974 to include Gatwick Airport and its surrounding land, at which point it moved from Surrey into West Sussex. The Beehive has been in Crawley since then. The county of Surrey had not always been accommodating towards the airport: for example, in 1935, the local council in which the terminal would be built (Dorking and Horley Rural District Council) was concerned about possible compensation claims from local residents and the threat of facing liability for accidents; and it “could see no benefit” to allowing further development

  • Chaz says:

    I have a “your flight has been cancelled email” with the option to change or cancel.

  • Yuff says:

    I got all excited when I saw the bumper bonus headline, and hoping for a big platinum referral bonus 🤦🏻‍♂️

  • Ian McDowall says:

    Weirdly I got a cancellation message for a long haul, but only on the return flight from St Lucia. The new flight is to Heathrow, and unfortunately, the outbound flight is still from Gatwick.

    • Alison says:

      Ian please can I ask what month this is for? We have had problems trying to book/change our seats and wondered if this was because either BA may change aircraft ie to the new club suite, or poss to LHR rather than LGW.

      • FatherOfFour says:

        I had a GND (via UVF) cancelled for November too. It looks like they have dropped the Saturday LGW-UVF service which was planned and are just running the one from LHR. This seems to be effective from about 16th November onwards.

  • Greek Mick says:

    No sign of Paphos having moved to LHR yet. Will it come? Larnaca is a schlep.

  • Jon says:

    My Jersey flight from Gatwick was moved to Heathrow with same flight number and flight times. I received the “Your flight has been cancelled email” and I was able to request a full cash refund (online).

    I also called up BA and was able to drop the first sector of my JER-LHR-TYO flight on the grounds that the sector from JER had been moved from LGW to LHR, but with same flight number and flight times, so effectively was a cancellation. Very pleased as I I now have an LHR-TYO routing.

  • Distichon says:

    “Some readers report getting 100 points, so I feel badly done by.”

    If it’s any consolation, nothing on my (non-business) play. A bit annoying, because I was already skipped on their last offer, the strange “get X points for spending Y” one where X and Y varied wildly for everyone. I’m starting to feel forgotten…

    • Tom says:

      Had the 100 pts for £1 spend on my free BA Amex tbat I use for all my spend. No idea what the point of it is, given the small amounts involved.

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