Half-term holiday hell rages on as airline cuts cause flight cancellations

Holidaymakers left hungry and exhausted as half-term travel hell erupts at airports across UK

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Passengers across the UK have been warned to expect increased disruption in travel plans, as airports and airlines struggle to cope with increased demand during half-term.

Hundreds of TUI holidaymakers at Manchester Airport were outraged on Saturday, after the airline informed them after an eight hour wait their trips were being cancelled.

Holidaymakers at Bristol Airport have witnessed scenes of "carnage" as easyJet cancelled more than 200 flights to or from Gatwick in the period between May 28 and June 6.

Experts have warned further disruption to travel is likely in the run up to the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

It is expected that nearly 20 million people will travel in the run up to and over the Bank Holiday weekend, with drivers warned to expect lengthy delays on popular routes.

The RAC has announced that approximately 19.5 million drivers will embark on leisure trips between Wednesday and Sunday this week.

The Port of Dover has seen delays tailing back to the A20, with only two border control booths open by French officials.

Traffic piles up at the Port of Dover, as reports of only two open border patrol booths.
Traffic piles up at the Port of Dover, as reports of only two open border patrol booths.

MPs have been called on to intervene in hope to prevent trips from catastrophe, as airlines and airports burst at the seams with increased passenger numbers.

The consumer group Which? mounted pressure on the government to take action to prevent airlines from "selling flights that they can't actually provide".

The consumer group's travel editor, Rory Boland, said: "We're already seeing very long queues, widespread chaos at airports, huge stress for people planning to get away, and they haven't hit their peak yet".

More than 10,000 flights are set to depart the UK between Thursday and Sunday, according to data firm Cirium. This is three times the amount in comparison to last year, when UK travel was under covid restrictions.

Holidaymakers at Manchester were left hungry and exhausted, as children screamed and cried as a result of extensive delays.

In an interview with the Manchester Evening News, holidaymaker Sharon Marie, who was set to travel to Paphos with her partner, said: "We were then told we had to wait for our luggage and be escorted out of the airport as our flight has been cancelled to 12pm tomorrow [Monday],

Passengers have been left without food after facing delays in excess of eight hours at Manchester Airport.
Passengers have been left without food after facing delays in excess of eight hours at Manchester Airport.
Long queues are to be expected at airports across the country
Long queues are to be expected at airports across the country

"We are being sent home with luggage at a cost to ourselves to return and go through the whole process again. We are tired, hungry and fed up.

'"There are so many eateries just not open at all, we were told many had ran out of food so they had to close. It is just unbelievable that families aren't able to get anything to eat,' she told the news site.

"There were so many children screaming and crying and people just wondering what on earth was going on.

"People are tired, hungry and stressed. It is shambolic."

Manchester Airport released an apology statement following the disruption, saying that delays at check-in and baggage reclaim are the responsibility of airline and ground handling firms, which run their own services.

The trade union, Unite has warned travellers to expect to expect a "summer of chaos" as it announced that a strike ballot would be conducted for British Airway check-in staff at Heathrow Airport.

Massive recruitment drives are underway by airports, airlines and travel companies to rectify staffing issues which are at the heart of the delays. Staff reportedlym left the industry during national lockdowns and have since secured jobs in other sectors.