British Airways will increase the minimum time required for connection between two flights at London Heathrow Airport. The changes will take effect from January. According to the carrier's management, they are dictated by problems and constant delays in the immigration service, that is, at passport control, and the security service when passengers go through airport procedures.
Based at London Heathrow Airport, British Airways serves airports in hundreds of cities around the world on all continents. In addition, London provides many connecting flights when passengers fly to Heathrow and on to other destinations. Thus, the airline sets a minimum connection time so that passengers have enough time to transfer from the first flight to the second.
Today this time is 60 minutes, but from January 9, 2024 it will increase to 75 minutes for those who is transferring.
Flights that fail to meet the specified schedule will be rebooked free of charge. In future flight schedules, the “correct” British Airways software will ensure connections.
Heathrow Airport has at least 115 boarding gates located in four terminal buildings. While Heathrow's Terminal 5 hosts the majority of British Airways' operations, space constraints have resulted in some flights operating from Terminal 3.
Interestingly, British Airways has no benefit from the fact that passengers will spend a quarter of an hour more at Heathrow from January. The airline does not profit from sales at Heathrow's restaurants and stores. On the other hand, British Airways does not manage Heathrow's security staff, who recently collectively negotiated pay increases following information pickets and strikes. So this is purely about schedule reliability.
Here is the official email that British Airways sent to its passengers who will be affected by the innovation:
“As of January 9, 2024, we are changing the time connections at London Heathrow Airport. Due to this change, your upcoming British Airways connection at London Heathrow is not possible. We are in the process of reviewing your booking to ensure you can take both flights on your tickets. If necessary, we will try to rebook your next flight free of charge.