| 16°C Belfast

Belfast mother with autistic son reveals travel nightmare after British Airways flight cancelled during Heathrow chaos

Close

A Belfast family was forced to make alternative plans after their British Airways Heathrow flight was cancelled on Thursday(Victoria Jones/PA)

A Belfast family was forced to make alternative plans after their British Airways Heathrow flight was cancelled on Thursday(Victoria Jones/PA)

A Belfast family was forced to make alternative plans after their British Airways Heathrow flight was cancelled on Thursday(Victoria Jones/PA)

A Belfast mother with an autistic son has spoken of facing a travel nightmare when her British Airways flight from Heathrow was cancelled at short notice.

June Bushby (30) had been enjoying a holiday to Legoland with son Thomas (10) and daughter Madeline (4), and had been due to fly home on the 12.30pm Heathrow flight to Belfast City on Thursday.

She told the Belfast Telegraph she was left in a state of panic and anxiety when she received an email around 5am that morning to say her flight had been cancelled.

With her son especially stressed by the uncertainty, she quickly tried to find another way home.

The flight was eventually rescheduled to depart from London City Airport to fly to Dublin at 8.30pm on Thursday night.

This still left Ms Bushby out of pocket for around £500 with expensive taxi fees across London and for a hotel.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

She said attempting to rebook flights and make travel arrangements while also caring for her two young children had left a sour note at the end of her holiday.

They had hoped to avoid the stress of busy periods by travelling on a quieter week of the summer.

When she called British Airways, she said she felt under added pressure when she was told she would not be eligible for compensation.

Following a query from the Belfast Telegraph on her behalf, she has since been told that her costs will be met in full, including for a taxi from Dublin to her home in Belfast.

It is understood she was initially given the wrong advice over the phone when she first called.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “As a result of Heathrow's requirement for all airlines to reduce their schedules, we've made a small number of cancellations. We're in contact with affected customers to apologise, advise them of their consumer rights and offer them alternative options, including a refund or rebooking.”

Overall cancellations were said to affect a relatively small number of BA services.

The Heathrow flight was among 30 other flights removed from the morning schedule on Thursday.

Aer Lingus had also cancelled six flights on Thursday, including a Dublin to Heathrow return service because of a spike in Covid cases among their staff.

A further three Aer Lingus flights were cancelled on Wednesday because of Covid absences and strikes were also blamed for 13 cancellations over the weekend.

Aer Lingus has apologised for the inconvenience faced by customers and have said they were working towards arranging alternative arrangements for those affected.

Heathrow officials had said that most passengers affected by Thursday’s cancellations should be able to book another flight outside of peak hours.

They also said most passengers affected by the cancellations on Thursday should be able to rebook another flight outside of peak hours.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "We are expecting higher passenger numbers in [Thursday’s] morning peak than the airport currently has capacity to serve, and so to keep everyone safe we have asked airlines to remove 30 flights from the morning peak for today only.

"We apologise for the impact this has on travel plans. We are working hard to ensure everyone has a smooth journey through Heathrow this summer, and the most important thing is to make sure that all service providers at the airport have enough resources to meet demand."


Top Videos



Privacy