Demand for detail on which flights will be cut as Heathrow extends passenger cap to end of October

Passengers have face long queues to check in at Heathrow this summer. Credit: PA

Holidaymakers are bracing for more summer travel chaos as Britain's busiest airport announces that it will extend a cap on passenger numbers.

Heathrow Airport has announced that it will extend a cap on passenger numbers until the end of the October half term break.

The end of the cap – which started in mid-July to and was due to finish on 11 September – has now been pushed back to Friday 29 October.

The cap of 100,000 daily passengers was implemented to reduce large queues, lost baggage and last minute cancellations, as the travel industry struggled to cope with staffing shortages and a post-Covid surge in trips.

The cap has prompted Ryanair to boost its Stansted flights in response to Heathrow's cap.

The airline has added more than 500 flights to its schedule over the October half-term holiday in a bid to attract travellers from rival airlines at the London airport.

Heathrow said it will continue to review capacity limits - adding the could be lifted earlier if there is an increase in staff and sustained resilience at the airport.

Ross Baker, Heathrow chief commercial officer added: “Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel.

“That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July, which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway."

But consumer rights group Which? has warned the move will leave thousands of travellers in limbo.

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Guy Hobbs, travel editor at the organisation, described the situation as a “mess” and urged the airport to provide clarity to holiday-makers about the flight schedule.

“Heathrow and impacted airlines must act without delay to provide travellers with clarity on which flights are being cut, and airlines must ensure affected passengers are aware of their rights to rebooking or refunds.

“Thousands of people will now be anxious about whether their travel plans could be scuppered,” he said.

“The aviation industry and the government need to ensure that this mess is sorted out as soon as possible – passenger caps cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely.”