Extra flight hastily arranged after 300 Irish stuck in Heathrow when plane ‘oversold’ – The Irish Times

An extra flight from Heathrow was being hastily arranged tonight to accommodate around 300 people who were stranded after an apparent overbooking on an earlier flight.

The new flight to Dublin was scheduled to take off from Heathrow at approximately 10.30pm on Sunday.

Earlier photographs and video footage of long queues forming in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 emerged on social media as passengers arriving at the airport found themselves unable to board a scheduled 8.55pm Aer Lingus flight to Dublin.

One of the intending passengers, Katie Cullen, told The Irish Times that “around 300” passengers had been told that this flight had been oversold, and these passengers then queued to try and rebook on an alternative flight.

“It’s all over the place. People arrived after us and they haven’t been told anything and it is just general chaos.”

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There was additional demand on flights from London this evening as passengers planning to travel to Ireland tried to get home before a 48-hour ban on flights from Britain comes into force at midnight on Sunday.

This decision was triggered by concerns over the emergence a mutated strain of Covid-19 in London and southeast England.

Ms Cullen said there was a queue forming outside the terminal when she arrived at the terminal at about 6.30pm. She and her friends had booked the flight earlier on Sunday afternoon.

“The flight was operated by Aer Lingus, but British Airways were selling tickets for it. They were doing the same for the Heathrow to Belfast flight [tonight ],” she said.

After arriving at the terminal, Ms Cullen said information was hard to come by after an initial update from a British Airways staff member.

A staff member from the airline updated the passengers again at about 8.30pm.

“She let us know that they’re speaking to the [Irish] Government and they’re going to try and get us on a flight tonight, so there’s hope. She didn’t make any promises but she said there’s potential that we might get on a flight this evening,” said Ms Cullen.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus referred queries about the alleged overbooking to British Airways.