Passengers now face uncertainty after being told not to call or message British Airways, Britain’s flagship airline, unless they are travelling within the next 72 hours.
On Sunday 22nd March 2020, British Airways announced its Delhi call centre would be closing, as the Indian government put measures in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. The decision comes after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed the country in lockdown, effectively banning people from leaving their homes.
So, what does this mean for BA passengers who are either trying to cancel flights or get a return flight home? According to The Independent, British Airways have informed passengers that they ‘may experience longer than usual call waiting times until contingency plans are put in place.’
The disconcerting news comes after low-cost carrier Ryanair announced the majority of their flights would be ‘grounded from Tues 24th March onwards.’ The airline has offered their services to all ‘EU Governments’ who need planes for rescue flights and other essential journeys.
Passengers who have been affected will be contacted by the airline via email ‘over the next week or two’, with more information regarding their options. Much like British Airways, holidaymakers have also been advised to only contact the airline if they are due to travel within the next 72 hours. This comes after the airline has reduced office staff by 50% ‘for social distancing reasons.’ Depending on government advice, the airline is not set to resume flights until June at the very earliest.
Those who are due to travel over the coming days should contact their airlines and tour operators where appropriate, whilst also exercising patience as the situation changes at a fast-pace.