UK Travel Disruptions Continue, Set to Impact Easter Holiday
Travel problems continued to afflict UK vacationers on Sunday, with officials warning of additional lines later in the week.
More cancellations were reported by EasyJet Plc and British Airways Plc on Sunday, however both carriers stated that the flights had been canceled in advance. British Airways cancelled 7% of flights today and delayed 9%, according to FlightAware statistics. According to FlightAware, more than 20% of EasyJet flights are delayed, and an airline spokesman stated 40 flights were cancelled in preparation for Sunday.
“Queues are expected as visitors return later this week,” said Lucy Moreton, a spokesman for the Immigration Services Union, which represents Border Force employees.
Staff from Scotland and Northern Ireland are being sent to Heathrow Airport to help with the congestion, reports Bloomberg.
Travelers who have waited years for the return of abroad vacations are now experiencing last-minute cancellations and long lines at airports. Airlines that laid off employees during the coronavirus pandemic are scrambling to replace them while still dealing with coronavirus-related absences.
Heathrow and Gatwick airports both stated that they expect a large number of passengers over Easter. Heathrow said it was sending additional personnel in preparation for passenger numbers not seen since early March 2020.
Queues may arise during peak seasons, such as weekends and the Easter Holidays, according to a Gatwick spokesman. It urged travelers to arrive at the earliest check-in time allowed by their airline, which is usually three hours for long-haul flights and two and a half hours for short-haul flights.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority wrote to airlines earlier this week, requesting them to collaborate with airports to manage workforce shortages and minimize inconvenience.
According to the agency’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Moriarty, it is critical that airlines set schedules based on available staff and make allowances for sickness, such as those provided by Covid, as well as meet their obligations to refund passengers if they are unable to provide a suitable alternative flight.
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