Travelers have been warned chaos at airports will continue after passengers complained of ‘nightmare’ waits of up to seven hours blighting half-term getaways.
In Manchesterpassengers were delayed ‘waiting for a pilot’ for up to eight hours before finding out via text their flight had been cancelled.
Meanwhile at Dublin Airport, travelers took to ‘yodelling and singing’ this morning to spend the time in huge queues.
And at Stanstead Airport, passengers were pictured sleeping overnight on the floor.
Staff shortages are leading to queues as air travel bounces back from the Covid shutdown — with UK departures passing 10,000 between Thursday and yesterday, triple the total a year ago.
EasyJet blamed a software failure for a wave of cancellations that left some of its passengers stranded overseas at the weekend.
And it is axing more than 200 further flights from Gatwick — 24 a day until next Monday — over issues including baggage handling delays, runway works and air traffic control restrictions.
‘We are sorry for the late notice of some of the cancellations and inconvenience caused by customers. However, we believe this is necessary to provide reliable services over this busy period,’ a company spokesman said.
Tui also canceled flights as thousands of families faced long queues at Manchester, Stansted and Bristol airports.
There are already long queues at Bristol Airport again this morning, and a number of people have taken to social media to complain.
One person wrote: ‘@easyJet what are you paying for at @BristolAirport. Only half the security lanes open and not FastTrack. 2 hours to get through. Queues started 300m on road outside.’
Another said: ‘Queue to get in the terminal at 5:15 at @BristolAirport. At least the sky is pretty’.
Similar disruption took place across the weekend.
Passenger Rob Scott posted online: ‘Carnage at Manchester. Terminal two rammed with people. Big delays setting off due to luggage not being loaded due to staff shortages.’
Nicola Caine, 37, of Cheshire, said her family’s flight to Tenerife had been canceled from Manchester and then again at Gatwick, leading to them being forced to sleep on an airport floor.
‘We’ve been treated like animals. It’s been one problem after another. I would never fly with easyJet again,’ she added.
Meanwhile, Michelle Farmer, 56, said her and daughter Madeleine’s Tui flight from Bristol to Naples was canceled with less than an hour’s notice.
‘We’ve been sent through baggage collection with luggage thrown on the floor, now standing outside the airport. Don’t help. Poor on every level,’ she tweeted.
Tui said the cancellation was ‘due to a combination of factors’ and added: ‘We are doing all we can to keep customers updated.’
In Dublin, bosses last night warned of ‘significant queues’ and said that some passengers could miss flights as 50,000 were due to pass through over the next 24 hours.
This morning, video emerged of delayed travelers singing and yodeling in a long queue for Lufthansa flights.
Over the weekend, the airport was described as ‘total bedlam’ as people missed their flights due to massive queues.
There were even ‘scuffles’ as passengers panicked about the length of time they were waiting.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) apologized to customers and promised no-one will be left ‘out of pocket.’
What should you do if you miss your flight due to long queues?
Crucial to any insurance claim is receipts, whether it be a bus ticket or parking stub.
But before reaching that stage, it is important to ‘make a fuss’.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel said: ‘Millions of holidaymakers set to jet off this half-term and bank holiday weekend are frankly panicked by last-minute flight cancellations by some airlines and unacceptably long queues at airport security, check-in and bag drop.
‘Reassuringly, the number of people who have missed a flight because of queues is very low. But if you are stuck in a queue and your flight is due to depart shortly, make a fuss and ask a member of staff to take you to the front. If it looks like you’ll miss the flight through no fault of your own, it is important to tell your airline as soon as you can. Buried in the T&Cs of many airlines is a promise to help, and some will let you rebook for free in such instances.
‘Travellers who miss a flight due to extraordinary circumstances may be able to claim on their insurance. Evidence that you turned up at the time advised by the airport or airline could be crucial, so keep your bus ticket or parking stub, and any receipts from shops or restaurants inside the terminal.’
With further delays for air travel predicted, similar chaos on roads also looks likely.
Drivers have been warned to expect long waits on popular routes during the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday period.
The RAC estimate 19.5 million leisure trips by road will take place between Wednesday and Sunday.
A survey of 1,460 drivers’ travel plans indicated that Friday is likely to be the most congested day on the roads as day-trippers combine with families returning home from half-term breaks.
The M25 anticlockwise from Junction 17 at Maple Cross Interchange, Hertfordshire to Junction 12 at Thorpe Interchange, Surrey has been highlighted as a likely congestion hotspot.
Another is the A303 running past Stonehenge, Wiltshire, which is a popular route for holidaymakers traveling towards the South West.
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