On Wednesday, British Airways and easyJet canceled more than 150 flights to and from the UK as holidaymakers faced further delays to extend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday amid further recriminations between ministers and the aviation industry over who was to blame. failure.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps met with industry bosses Wednesday afternoon following news that BA had canceled at least 124 short-haul flights at Heathrow Airport, though the airline said passengers had been warned ahead of time.
Low-cost airline easyJet also canceled at least 31 flights at Gatwick Airport, including those scheduled for Bologna, Barcelona, Prague, Krakow and Edinburgh.
Tour operator Tui has canceled six flights a day from Manchester Airport for the whole of June. Manchester Airport blamed staff shortages at Tui and its ground operator Swissport, which handles check-in and baggage handling.
On the last day of flight cancellations and airport disruptions, an easyJet passenger tweeted a photo taken shortly after 4am at Manchester Airport showing a long line of people in the terminal car park.
Describing the situation as a “carnage”, the passenger wrote: “It took two hours and 45 minutes to get through – most of the time it’s baggage dumping. Now on the plane, but due to the lack of ground personnel, there will be another delay of about 50 minutes.”
More than 330,000 passengers are expected to pass through Manchester Airport between Thursday 2 June and Sunday 5 June. The airport apologized for the disruption and advised passengers to arrive three hours before departure.
Another easyJet passenger complained that he had to wait over two and a half hours to get his luggage after they landed in Gatwick just before 3am. He called it “just not good enough”.
Travelers have experienced delays and disruptions at airports across the UK for several weeks, with overseas travel demand rebounding after all Covid-related UK travel restrictions were eased.
Many aviation industry workers have been laid off or left the sector during the pandemic, when international travel was banned for several months.
Shapps has criticized travel firms, saying they “seriously oversold flights and vacations compared to their delivery capabilities.” After meeting on Wednesday with the top leadership of the aviation industry, including airports, airlines and ground handlers, he warned that there could not be a repeat of such disruptions during the summer.
He said: “We are grateful to those airlines and operators who continue to provide quality services despite the current pressure, and we understand that not all operators have been affected equally. I also understand the lack of resources in the aviation sector, but that doesn’t justify poor planning and overbooking of flights they can’t handle. Companies that have seen…