Summer travelers aren’t the only ones noticing (and trying to escape) the heat. Record high temperatures caused British Airways to boot passengers off multiple flights out of London City Airport recently, citing that the planes could not take off in hot weather without a weight reduction to account for additional fuel. Stranded passengers were furious with the airline.
Most airline travelers these days expect to hear a gate announcement asking for volunteers to give up their seats on an overbooked flight. But what if you were asked to deplane because it was so hot that the aircraft could not take off with a full cabin?
This scenario greeted passengers on 14 different British Airways flights out of London City Airport (LCY) last Friday. Citing the temperatures (35-degrees Celsius, or 95-degrees Fahrenheit), BA officials said that the heat was affecting cabin pressure and that they’d have to deplane passengers in order for the aircraft to carry enough fuel to take off.
Travelers were understandably furious at having vacation plans disrupted, including 20 passengers kicked off of a flight to Ibiza.
43-year-old Mhairi Hopkins told The Sun Online that her family was already in line to board when the gate announcer said they needed to take people off the plane, “Nobody came forward and then they said we’re going to have to pick 14 people because it’s so hot we need to carry more petrol in order to take off. Then they read out the names of some people and said ‘family Hopkins.’ There’s five of us, one with special needs, and they didn’t seem to care at all.”
The airline scrambled to re-book the family, but Hopkins notes, “Then they said we’ll book you on the 11.15am flight from Heathrow tomorrow morning, which we later found out was not guaranteed and that we had to join another queue to get ourselves onto another flight.”
When reached for comment, a BA representative said, “Because of the unique nature of [London City’s] airfield, with a short runway and steep take-off, extreme temperatures affect air pressure so aircraft weight has to be reduced. This meant regrettably we were forced to offload 20 customers from our Ibiza service. We are working with them to provide hotel accommodation and re-book them on flights tomorrow.”