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British Airways has stopped selling tickets for short-haul flights from Heathrow

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British Airways has decided to suspend the sale of tickets on short haul flights from London Heathrow for travel today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).

This may be extended beyond Saturday but a decision has yet to be taken.

This appears to have been done to both meet Heathrow’s capacity caps and to give BA flexibility to move passengers whose flights are cancelled at short notice.

BA has stopped selling tickets for short-haul flights from Heathrow for today and tomorrow

Here is the notice circulated to the travel trade a few minutes ago:

“To further support this goal and minimise additional close-in bookings which risk us exceeding the caps, as well as to enable us to reaccommodate any passengers whose flights are impacted at short notice, we’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily limit access to inventory on short-haul flights from London Heathrow, currently until the 30th July.

For technical reasons, we still need to permit access to BA office ID’s / IATA’s to allow us to reaccommodate passengers which consequently means that you may see some inventory available via ba.com that is not available via any GDS or via NDC.

Please be aware that the aim of this additional action is not to favour or drive last-minute sales via ba.com at a time when we’re operating within strict capacity caps and are encouraging customers to voluntarily move their travel plans to alternate dates. For technical reasons, we’re simply unable to open British Airways inventory designed for passenger reaccommodation without the side effect of also enabling some minimal selling.

We don’t intend to keep this additional short-term measure in place a moment longer than necessary and will be reviewing next week with a view to lifting it as soon as we possibly can. That said, we do want to be open and transparent in that limited inventory will continue to be a challenge in all channels for carriers operating from Heathrow until the capacity caps are removed. 

We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause and would like to thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work through this challenging period together.

Whilst travel agents have been blocked entirely from selling tickets, some ba.com availability remains bookable because this is the only way that agents can rebook. However if we look at, say, Amsterdam for tomorrow, this is what you get:

The Business tickets being sold are fully flexible ones, at £681 each way …. if you’re willing to pay that then BA will ensure you get on, even if someone else does not.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (48)

  • Lee says:

    Am I correct in thinking you still cannot cancel an Avios booking online? If not, what is the best number to call? I’m a Silver and yes, I have checked online, but BA now hide their telephone numbers very well.

    • Rob says:

      You can cancel, as long as it meets the criteria for a voucher. Click ‘claim a voucher’ and then you get an email back saying ‘Avios tickets no longer get vouchers so we’re refunding it all’. I did this online last weekend.

      • Jess says:

        I am still waiting over 4 weeks later for my money to be refunded though the voucher and Avios were back instantly.

        • Alan says:

          I cancelled an AMEX 2-4-1 flight and had to call up, I tried to voucher option but got an email stating it didn’t meet the criteria (maybe because the flight was for after 30 September 2022?) I received the voucher and avios back straight away a matter of minutes. The cash re tax and charges surprised to get it back in about 3 days.

          I had a cash flight cancelled and took the refund option. The cash was returned after about 2 weeks.

      • Toby says:

        I have done this, but it seems to go into a queue to be processed. So every time I have had to call BA to ensure it is actually cancelled before the flight is flown (still showing as not cancelled 25 hours before). Haven’t wanted to risk BA claiming I didn’t cancel at least 24 hours before the flight just because their processing is slow.

  • Mike says:

    I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of short notice short haul cancellations over Fri and Sat for the next few weeks.

  • Mark says:

    Flying from Gatwick tomorrow on Wizzair at 5pm. Do I still need to go 3 hours ahead if I have a check in baggge?

    • Rob says:

      A Saturday in August, what could possibly go wrong?

      • Kevin C says:

        I was at Gatwick most of last Saturday. Our BA plane was delayed by a mere 5 hours. Big queues at check in counters. Security was fine. Of course tomorrow, the last Saturday in July, may be different.

      • Ivanka says:

        It was actually quite efficient last Saturday at Gatwick. Chatting to security they said pre 10am is worst, gets better later in the day. Food outlets were rammed but security took 5 minutes at 4am. Certainly not a bad experience. Seen it worse in Feb half term pre covid.

        • CamFlyer says:

          Five minutes for security at 4 AM is still too long….

          I’m scheduled to fly from Gatwick Monday @1545. I’m hoping 2 hours is sufficient.

    • Track says:

      I am liking Rob’s sense of humour! Written with the right apostrophe )

  • Susan says:

    What’s the easiest way to check for pulled flights (without an Expertflyer a/c)? I was looking at Limoges-Sou on 03/09 earlier this week with wide open availabilty but that seems to have disappeared completely from ba.com

    • pauldb says:

      If it’s still running it should be on the BA timetable. In this case it’s still on EF but zeroed out.

    • pauldb says:

      You can also search on oldmatrix.itasoftware.com with the “only show flights with seats” option unticked.

  • Len says:

    BA seem to e moving from one self inflicted mess to the next. Time to move on from a company that lives on their history but is a very ordinary airline being left behind. Many still showing blinded loyalty for an airline long past its best.

    • Catalan says:

      How is it ‘self inflicted’ if they’re required to meet Heathrow’s capacity caps and cancelling flights as a consequence?

      • Surreygp says:

        Not really, I have to go Vienna this coming week and BA doesn’t sell tickets, Austrian does. So in the last months I now had to change about 1/3 of my flights from BA to AF, Austrian etc, as BA doesn’t sell tickets, Cancels, etc. I managed to fly a lot (>3k tier points) even during COVID, but since April it has become a real struggle w BA.

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