Thailand-bound holidaymakers have been left frustrated and confused after British Airways cancelled all U.K. flights to Bangkok until next autumn, it emerged last night.
The Points Guy U.K has seen emails from the U.K.’s flagship carrier telling customers that all direct flights to the Thai capital have been suspended until October 2022.
According to BA the flights have been cancelled due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the airline is currently operating a “reduced and dynamic schedule,” adding that their operations are under constant review.
Passengers due to travel can check their latest flight status or make changes to their bookings on their website and any travellers affected by the cancellation can opt for a voucher if their flight is booked to travel at any time before 31 August 2022. All vouchers are valid until 30 September 2023.
British Airways operates flights to Bangkok during the winter schedule, which is typically October through to March. This means that the cancellations will affect travellers booked on flights from now until March 2022, before they’re due to resume in October of the same year.
A spokesperson for BA said: “We apologise to customers whose travel plans are disrupted. Where a customer’s flight is cancelled, we always contact them to offer options including a full refund. Customers who are unable to travel, or choose not to, can also continue to change their flights or request a voucher for future use as part of our Book with Confidence policy, which has been available since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The move comes a month after Thai authorities made it easier for Brits to enter the holiday hotspot by scrapping its quarantine rules for travellers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. A month prior to that, Thailand became one of 47 countries removed from the U.K.’s red list.
But it doesn’t mean your Thailand travel plans are completely scuppered, it just might take a little longer to get there.
One affected passenger told The Points Guy U.K.: “I had a direct flight from London to Bangkok scheduled for just before Christmas but I’ve been told that’s now been cancelled and BA has offered us tickets with Finnair via Helsinki. It’s not the end of the world, we still get to go, but it is a bit of a ballache.”
In an email to The Points Guy U.K., one reader wrote: “I was booked to fly with my partner in Club using my AMEX companion voucher in March for my birthday which was booked months ago, but yesterday received this e-mail from BA cancelling the flight with no explanation.
“I was previously booked to fly to Rio this year when BA cancelled that flight too. My voucher now expires in May 2022, so can’t rebook for Bangkok and would like to go somewhere with it for my birthday in March, but now can’t get availability on any flights!”
Other customers, however, were less happy about the news. “Please can someone assist me,” wrote Graham Rose on Twitter. “You have cancelled a 50th and 60th birthday celebration flights to and from Bangkok in April and offered me non-direct flights on another airline. I choose them and your website says ‘something went wrong’ so we are goosed!!!”
Brian Hunt tweeted: “This makes life very difficult for expatriates hoping to return for Christmas this year. I’ve not been able to find any justification for this.”
Thailand is coming out of its worst wave of Covid cases since the start of the pandemic, having recorded some 2.1 million cases as of 15 December, and 21,000 deaths. As a result the country, which relies heavily on a steady flow of sun-seekers looking to relax on Thailand’s many golden beaches or let loose at one of its famous full-moon parties, has begun to relax its Covid rules.
On 1 November, Thai authorities allowed vaccinated international travellers from 63 countries to enter the country without having to quarantine. These include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the U.K., the US and Hong Kong.
Featured image – Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok – by southtownboy/Getty Images