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.
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 from UK credit cards (September 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
Run your own business?
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.