Heathrow airport chaos as flights are delayed due to fierce winds and ‘short notice staff absence’

PEOPLE travelling from Heathrow airport have faced flight delays due to fierce winds and “short notice staff absence”.

Travellers were hit by disruption this morning after air traffic control imposed restrictions on how many planes can land and take off.

Dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed


Dozens of flights were cancelled or delayedCredit: Alamy

Air traffic control only allowed 25 flights per hour to arrive and depart and it is not clear when will the restrictions be lifted.

More than 30 departing flights have been cancelled since this morning and others were delayed for hours, according to The Independent.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) claimed that “short notice staff absence and strong winds” led to limits being put in place.

A statement added: “We are working hard to minimise disruption, working closely with Heathrow airport and airlines. 

“We expect the situation to improve this afternoon.”

Heathrow airport confirmed flights schedules were changed as a result.

A spokesperson said: “Strong wind is forecast today, while there may be minor changes to today’s schedule.

“We want to reassure passengers that our colleagues are working in close collaboration with our airline and air traffic control partners to get them safely on their journeys as quickly as possible.”

They recommended passengers to check with their airlines for the latest information about their flight.

Dozens of British Airways flights to short-haul destinations – including Madrid, Milan, Berlin and Oslo have also been cancelled.

The airline company confirmed it had to change their short-haul schedules – but offered users the chance to book another flight or get a full refund.

A statement said: “Air traffic control restrictions imposed on all airlines at London Heathrow mean we’ve had to make some adjustments to our short-haul schedule.

“We’ve contacted affected customers to apologise and offer them rebooking options or a full refund.”

Frustrated passengers took to X , previously known as Twitter, to share their anger.

One blasted: “We’ve been held on the tarmac at MCR Airport because Heathrow accepting reduced number of flights.”

“Not expected to depart for a further 2 hours, which means missing our transfer to New York. My 40th birthday celebration is turning disastrous,” another added.

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled or delayed?

Under UK law, airlines have to provide compensation if your flight arrives at its destination more than three hours late.

If you’re flying to or from the UK, your airline must let you choose a refund or an alternative flight.

You will be able to get your money back for the part of your ticket that you haven’t used yet.

So if you booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket refunded.

But if travelling is essential, then your airline has to find you an alternative flight. This could even be with another airline.


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