Emirates flights turned back en route to Heathrow

22 Dec 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Two Emirates airlines flights en route to London Heathrow on Sunday were turned back after BAA said they would not be allowed to land. The flights departed Dubai but were refused permission to land, and so had to turn around and return to Dubai. In a statement, Tim Clark, President of Emirates airline, said:

“Emirates was surprised to be told by the British Airports Authority (BAA) that after two of our flights from Dubai to London Heathrow were fully on route, they were not going to be allowed to land because the airport was closed. This is despite the fact that we operated these flights in compliance with the BAA requirements that Heathrow Airport would accept flight arrivals after 11:00am local time [Sunday]. This has caused enormous inconvenience to the 900 plus passengers on-board, in addition to those who have already been stranded in the UK and Europe.”

“Furthermore, Emirates has had to cancel three additional Heathrow flights today [on Sunday], which were also fully booked. This will have the same impact on the return flights to Dubai. Emirates’ ability to mount the extra sections required to recover the enormous back-log is very limited and we will be discussing this issue with the BAA.”

“All of Emirates other flights in and out of the UK were operational."

Emirates says that all Emirates customers affected by the disruption may without penalty:

  • Rebook and re-issue
  • Cancel their booking or change their destination to another destination in the UK
  • Rebook also the return journey 


  • All changes to travel dates must be made within 7 days after the original scheduled departure date and in the same ticketed booking class or in the next lowest class available if the original ticketed class is not available
  • If any booking class in the same cabin is not available within the 7 day period, then rebook at a later date onto an available flight to the same destination and in the same original class
  • Refund for cancellation shall be based on the residual value for remaining coupons. Claims to be submitted no later than 31 Jan 11
  • Any third party costs/penalties, such as hotel or other ground operator fees incurred  will not be waived by Emirates
  • All other rules and conditions of the ticket remain unchanged


Report by Tom Otley

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