‘Shambles’: Travel chaos as holidaymakers left stranded across Europe – ‘not acceptable’

Grant Shapps grilled about travel chaos in UK airports

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Hundreds of flights to the UK were cancelled as Britons scrambled to get home following the Jubilee weekend. This left some easyJet, British Airways, Tui Airways and Wizz Air passengers in the lurch.

Some passengers hoping to return to the UK with easyJet were left disappointed when the airline scrapped more flights this morning.

A further 26 flights due to arrive at or depart from Gatwick Airport today were reportedly cancelled.

Destinations included Bilbao, Madrid and Seville in Spain, Milan and Palermo in Italy, Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland, and Malta.

One holidaymaker had no choice but to fly to another country in order to get home.

Teacher Kelly had to take three buses totalling 12 hours from Montenegro to Split, Croatia after a last minute flight cancellation.

She claimed they also had to sit in a bus station for four hours because the airline took eight hours to find them emergency accommodation.

She was “very disappointed in easyJet”, Kelly told the BBC.

Matt Wheeler claimed he had to make emergency childcare arrangements when his easyJet flight from Amsterdam was cancelled.

He branded the situation a “farce”, explaining that he, his partner and those looking after his children would have to miss a day of work, The Telegraph reported.

Although he was put up in a hotel and compensated with a new flight, he cited a lack of communication.

British Airways also axed more than 100 short-haul flights at Heathrow Airport on Monday, alleged The Telegraph, and Tui six daily flights at Manchester Airport.

According to aviation data firm Cirium, around 225 departures from were cancelled from UK airports between Monday and Friday last week.

This was half-term week when many families tried to get away.

During the corresponding half-term week last year, only 24 departures were cancelled.

But why has flying become such as huge national issue?

During the pandemic, airline staff across the UK were laid off.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme that airlines had “cut too far” on staff.

Now that Covid restrictions have eased globally and holidaying has become easier, there has been a sudden influx of travel.

This is compounded in busy periods such as half-term holidays and Bank Holidays.

Travel consultancy The PC Agency estimated that at least 15,000 passengers were affected by last-minute changes to flights on Sunday as the Jubilee weekend drew to a close.
Travellers took to Twitter to express their annoyance.

@chloecarteriom said: “easyJet is in shambles all over the UK this week. Over 250 flights cancelled. Five hour plus security lines, cancelled and delayed flights, no staff, lost luggage.

Had three different guests at three different times go through it. Take at your own risk.”

@Chalkiechi commented: “Flight back home from Barcelona cancelled and no other flights from any nearby airports to any UK airports until at least Wednesday or Thursday so guess I live in Barcelona now.”

@jambodrew40 expressed concern for her child and claimed: “@easyJet My daughter and 14 friends have currently been left stranded at Faro airport as flight cancelled, not receiving any help at all, what are they supposed to do??? No flights available to the UK for a week??? This is not acceptable.”

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