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Air terminal turmoil could drop Jubilee plans for thousands: Warning travel bad dream will go on over end of the week and last the entire summer – as POLICE are drafted in to tell angry travelers their days off are dropped and trips are canceled by latest possible moment texts

Air terminal turmoil could drop Jubilee plans for thousands: Warning travel bad dream will go on over end of the week and last the entire summer – as POLICE are drafted in to tell angry travelers their days off are dropped and trips are canceled by latest possible moment texts

Clergymen in constant conflict with flight industry over who is to be faulted for the gore at UK’s air terminals
Aircrafts and air terminals blamed for cutting out too many staff in disorder presently anticipated to endure all through the late spring
Jayesh Patel was among travelers told by police that their TUI bundle break was being dropped
Tumultuous scenes at Stansted, Manchester, Bristol and Gatwick, where voyagers rested on baggage claims
Kids who have never been on vacation left in tears as they had first breaks dropped at last minute
Have your Platinum Jubilee itinerary items been hit? Email: martin.robinson@mailonline.co.uk with your story
Most recent Platinum Jubilee news as the Queen celebrates 70 years of administration

England’s air terminals emergency will go on through the Platinum Jubilee and was exposed today in a phenomenal video where two cops were drafted in to tell furious TUI clients lining to load onto their flight that their vacation was currently dropped and they needed to return home.

A huge number of Britons dread their arrangements to stream abroad for the long end of the week could now be in risk after many flights were deferred or dropped, at times similarly as they were going to load up.
What’s more, an irate attempt at finger pointing has ejected as clergymen faulted carriers and air terminals for the pandemonium – while associations and flight bosses demanded the Government ‘hasn’t arranged’ for the ascent popular for make a trip and has neglected to get an excess free from security checks for new specialists, which insiders guarantee could be moving toward 20,000 applications.

Julian Knight, director of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport board of trustees, told the Evening Standard: ‘They [the flying industry] need to take a few to get back some composure and presently. They risk hurting their industry’s standing long into the future as well as obliterating the vacation plans of thousands of Britons.’ He additionally required an examination concerning claims aircrafts are selling a bigger number of tickets than they can support.
Transport serve Andrew Stephenson said today: ‘We are working with avionics area to guarantee that the lines we have seen at the air terminals are limited and that disturbance is limited,’ he told Sky News, adding: ‘It is for the air terminals to plan and enlist an adequate number of individuals to manage the critical expansions in individuals flying which we have been expecting for quite a while’.

There has been turmoil, disarray and undoings at most of the UK’s air terminals throughout the course of recent days as families attempt to move away for half term and the celebration, with 6,000 or more trips to and from Britain due every day cresting next Monday. There have likewise been long deferrals at Dover for drivers going to France and postponements at St Pancras for Eurostar administrations to the landmass.

Individuals have lined during that time to registration while a few brought pads and duvets realizing they would be compelled to rest on terminal floors. Others dropped on baggage claims while sitting tight hours for their bags, some of which never showed up and are missing 96 hours after the fact.

Those made up for lost time in the savagery have depicted shops selling out of food and water and individuals being too terrified to even think about going to the latrine on the off chance that they lose their position in the lines winding around terminals at Manchester, Stansted, Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Understudy Isabelle Gray, 27, told the Evening Standard that checking in at Gatwick today was ‘damnation on wheels’.

She said:

‘I showed up here soon after 5am and lined for very nearly 2 hours to check my pack in, the line was around 500 profound and there was one individual at the really take a look at in work area. Certain individuals close to me were considering placing their bag in a storage and rushing to the door with simply hand gear.’

Carriers and air terminals have been faulted for the butchery having sliced staff during the pandemic while hoovering up leave of absence installments and state help. Presently they need more laborers to adapt – and can’t track down individuals to fill frequently low-paid opening – as the numbers booking unfamiliar occasions over the Platinum Jubilee week and through the late spring months hit pre-pandemic levels.

Jayesh Patel, whose half term break to Kos had been two years in the preparation, said there was outrage and tears as two police officers showed up to peruse an assertion from TUI, minutes after they started getting texts letting them know their flight and bundle breaks wouldn’t go on.

He told the BBC today: ‘The air terminal was understaffed, a ton of the power source had ran out of food or shut down at 6pm. We got called to the door for the 7pm take off – four hours late. There was no staff.

‘Individuals were exceptionally disturbed – some were going on their special first night. And afterward we as a whole begun getting messages that the flight was presently dropped and on the grounds that it was a bundle booking the entire occasion was dropped’.

He added: ‘The most obviously awful part that there was no Tui staff to help. And afterward two cops showed up and peruse an assertion letting us know how we would leave the air terminal. Since the plane hadn’t shown up from anyplace, our flight wasn’t recorded at any of the baggage claims so we didn’t have any idea where to pause – individuals were apparently upset and youngsters were crying. We then needed to stand by one more several hours and right now, we’d went through the entire day at the air terminal and simply needed to leave. ‘

As movement mayhem destroyed itinerary items for the celebration and half term, it arose today:

Thousands have their breaks postponed, upset or annihilated because of staff deficiencies at air terminals and carriers;
MPs have blamed transporters for selling tickets they can’t respect and want to send off examination concerning the confusion;
Carriers fault an absence of group and ground staff created by a setback for the Government finishing security checks of new staff;

It was police, not TUI staff, who were sent in to tell weary passengers at Manchester Airport that their entire holiday to Greece was cancelled and they had to leave
Gatwick: Tired travellers lay on the carousel at the West Sussex airport as they wait for their bags to arrive in chaotic scenes

Gatwick: Tired travellers lay on the carousel at the West Sussex airport as they wait for their bags to arrive in chaotic scenes
Steven Hession, 45, enjoys some fizz as he heads to Manchester Airport with his family for a two week break to the Greek island of Kos

Hours later, after long delays, the entire break was axed

Steven Hession, 45, enjoys some fizz as he heads to Manchester Airport with his family for a £4,000 two week break to the Greek island of Kos. Hours later, after long delays, the entire break was axed
Heathrow: Queues to enter Terminal 2 this morning as travel chaos is set to continue

Bristol: Passengers have been queuing through the night as they try to get through airports that are lacking staff to cope
Bristol: There were lines snaking around the terminal at 3.30am today

Bristol: There were lines snaking around the terminal at 3.30am today
Birmingham: Regional airports are missing up to a third of the staff they had before the pandemic with airlines and airports accused of pure greed

Birmingham: Regional airports are missing up to a third of the staff they had before the pandemic with airlines and airports accused of pure greed
Kim McManus, 40, from Widnes, Halton, Cheshire, was due to fly out to Turkey on Friday for her daughter's first ever holiday abroad when their flight as they stood in the queue for the plane

But Autumn, pictured, was left in tears after hearing the news that TUI had cancelled her first holiday abroad
Her Disney bag packed, Autumn, five, was beaming, left, at Manchester airport ready for her first foreign holiday. But her smiles turned to tears, right, after the trip to Turkey with her mum was cancelled after their flight was axed.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told MailOnline that the issue is not for the government to step in on: ‘It’s for travel firms themselves to get themselves in order.

‘It might mean sadly diverting money due to go into investment, or earmarked for new aircraft or into better check-in facilities to instead go towards hiring more staff. They’ve got some tough decisions to make.’

Yet more havoc looms as BA staff threaten to strike

British Airways customers were yesterday warned they face a summer of chaos as hundreds of staff threaten to strike.

Two unions representing check-in staff – GMB and Unite – are balloting members in a row over pay.

Staff at Heathrow Airport took a 10 per cent pay cut during the pandemic and are demanding their full salaries are reinstated. Without any check-in staff, most flights will likely be grounded.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘British Airways used the cover of Covid to brutally cut members’ pay. BA has now reversed the pay cuts imposed on management but refuses to do this for our members. This is disgraceful.

‘Unite will not allow our members to be treated as a second-class workforce.’

Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: ‘BA forced our members into pay cuts during the pandemic. It is their time to claim back what is theirs.’ Strikes could begin by July and continue into August.

BA said the majority of staff accepted a ‘generous’ one-off lump sum equivalent to 10 per cent of their salary. But check-in staff rejected this because it meant taking a long-term pay cut.

Steven Hession, 45, was also supposed to be flying to Kos on Saturday with his wife, Kerrie, and their two children for a fortnight and an upcoming family wedding.

But after hours of delays and chaos, the family got to the departure gate only to get a text message from airline TUI informing them that their flight and holiday had been cancelled due to ‘significant operational disruption’ – believed to be a missing pilot.

He said: ‘

After many hours of delays, we were at the boarding gate just after 7pm and there was no staff one there, but then we saw the cabin crew walking through to the plane, which made us feel reassured. But then we heard people crying… and everyone got this text at the same time saying unfortunately, your holiday has been cancelled, click this link to get a refund within 14 days.’

Britain’s travel crisis will peak next week and is predicted to continue for the entire summer.

A Government source told The Times: ‘The simple fact is that airlines and airports overcut staff during the pandemic, ignoring the fact that the billions of pounds of aid — including furlough — handed out by the government was meant to protect those very jobs.

‘Operators are now struggling to meet increasingly busy schedules as we move towards the first Covid-free summer since 2019 — a wholly foreseeable surge in bookings that should have been adequately prepared for.

‘The responsibility for maintaining adequate staffing levels lies with the airlines and airports themselves. Not only are they causing huge frustration to their customers, they are missing out on the benefits of the strong recovery in foreign travel.’

Ministers have been accused of failing to ‘step up’ as holidaymakers using UK airports continue to suffer major disruption.

Shadow financial secretary to the Treasury James Murray claimed the Government ‘hasn’t prepared’ for the rise in demand for travel.

Chronic staffing shortages, IT glitches and extraordinary demand is causing the delays and chaos at airports

Pictured: Stansted. Passengers sleeping at the airport overnight due to flight cancelations and excessive delays during the half term weekend in to travel hell for many passengers hoping for a first holiday in two years

Pictured: Stansted. Passengers sleeping at the airport overnight due to flight cancelations and excessive delays during the half term weekend in to travel hell for many passengers hoping for a first holiday in two years

British Airways and easyJet have both been removing thousands of flights from schedules in recent months at Gatwick and Heathrow airports amid staff shortages.

The airlines say most travellers have been given at least a few weeks’ notice, although the situation this week has been compounded by an IT glitch affecting easyJet.

There are also issues recruiting for roles such as security staff, ground handlers and check-in staff which is seeing passengers advised to arrive much earlier than normal for their flights because they are facing long queues.

While many businesses in the aviation sector are struggling to rehire staff after many were let go during the pandemic due to a collapse in demand thanks to successive lock-downs, high levels of staff sickness for those who are still employed is also having an impact.

And as they continue to battle with a tight labour market that has more vacancies than job-seekers, airlines have not been able to recruit staff quickly enough after most foreign travel has been reopened over the last year – with the removal in restrictions both in the UK and abroad in recent months causing even greater demand.

The Unite union said there are ‘chronic staff shortages across the board’, and that ‘current pay and conditions in the industry are so poor that workers are voting with their feet’, adding:

‘It can only be resolved by offering higher wages and better working conditions for staff.’

Union officials added that many airport staff are being asked to work extra hours, and ‘relying on staff overtime to run the business can’t be a long-term solution’.

The situation is also not expected to improve any time soon – with the European Travel Commission saying air travel within Europe is set to recover to pre-pandemic levels this summer, although visitors from outside the region will likely be down 30 per cent from 2019.

Airline passengers have been hit by cancellations and long delays at airports for several months, with the situation appearing to worsen this week during the half-term school holiday and ahead of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday period.

EasyJet and British Airways are cancelling flights every day, while passengers at airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Bristol are reporting long delays.

The aviation industry is suffering from staff shortages after thousands were let go during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many airlines and airports repeatedly called for more financial support due to the collapse in demand for travel caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

They are now struggling to recruit new workers and have their security checks processed.

Labour MP Mr Murray told Sky News: ‘We’ve been warning for months throughout the Covid pandemic that you can’t just let the airline industry and airports fall over, let them shed all of their staff, and then expect to get back on track when demand comes back after the pandemic.

‘We were warning about this, trade unions were warning about this, employee representatives were saying throughout the Covid pandemic, ‘You need a sector-specific package to support the aviation sector’, and now we’re seeing what’s happened because the Government hasn’t prepared for what would obviously come next.’

Arts minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay acknowledged that cancelled flights and long queues at UK airports are ‘causing a lot of distress for people, particularly in half-term’.

Asked about Government action over the airport disruption, he told Sky News: ‘Colleagues in the Department for Transport are working with the industry. We have been for months urging them to make sure they’ve got enough staff so that, thanks to the success of the vaccine rollout, as people are able to travel again, that people can take the holidays that they’ve missed and that they’ve deserved and of course it’s causing a lot of distress for people, particularly in half-term, people with family and children with them.

‘It’s very distressing if you turn up at the airport and your flight isn’t ready, so we’ve been saying to the industry that they need to prepare for this, they need to have the staff that they need to make sure people can get away and enjoy holidays.’

Transport workers trade union Unite also blamed the aviation chiefs for their mass-sackings during the Covid-19 pandemic, describing the airport chaos as a

‘crisis of their own making’.

The general secretary at Unite, Sharon Graham, told The Mirror that the chaos is to ‘last the entire summer season’: ‘During the pandemic, when airline operators and others in aviation slashed jobs to boost corporate profits, we warned this corporate greed would cause chaos in the industry.

‘The aftermath of mass sackings is now chronic staff shortages across the board. Aviation chiefs need to come clean with the public. This is a crisis of their making.

‘We are determined that workers will not pay for this crisis. Current pay and conditions in the industry are so poor that workers are voting with their feet. It can only be resolved by offering higher wages and better working conditions for staff. Unite is utterly determined to fight for that.’

A six-year-old girl was left in tears from 'exhaustion' after she and her family were stranded on their half-term holiday in Cyprus after TUI cancelled their flights twice - as a travel expert warns the travel chaos in UK airports is only set to get worse. Glenda Powell, 40, from Bristol, took to social media on Sunday night where she shared an image of her 'exhausted' six-year-old daughter, Freya, crying (pictured) because she is unable to return to the UK

A six-year-old girl was left in tears from ‘exhaustion’ after she and her family were stranded on their half-term holiday in Cyprus after TUI cancelled their flights twice – as a travel expert warns the travel chaos in UK airports is only set to get worse. Glenda Powell, 40, from Bristol, took to social media on Sunday night where she shared an image of her ‘exhausted’ six-year-old daughter, Freya, crying (pictured) because she is unable to return to the UK
Another family was left devastated after their first holiday since the Covid pandemic was cancelled by TUI as they waited to board their flight. Anna Saunders, pictured with her husband Matthew, and kids Eva and Jack

Another family was left devastated after their first holiday since the Covid pandemic was cancelled by TUI as they waited to board their flight. Anna Saunders, pictured with her husband Matthew, and kids Eva and Jack
Holiday firm TUI sent a crushing text message after delaying the flight saying the family's entire trip - costing £5,200 - was cancelled for 'operational reasons'

The message received by Anna Saunders after her holiday was cancelled
Holiday firm TUI sent a crushing text message after delaying the flight saying the family’s entire trip – costing £5,200 – was cancelled for ‘operational reasons’ – code for a lack of staff

Rory Boland, the travel editor of consumer group Which? said that the government must intervene to make sure airlines stop selling flights ‘they can’t actually provide’.

He told The Times:

‘We’re already seeing very long queues, widespread chaos at airports, huge stress for people planning to get away, and we haven’t hit the peak yet.

‘Airports and airlines have known this recovery was coming for a period of time now. We’re continuing to see things get worse, not better.’

Airlines cancelled dozens more flights on Sunday and yesterday, forcing some travellers to lie down on airport floors while resting.

Half-term sun-seekers were pictured laying on floors at Stansted Airport following disruption and lengthy queues.

Snaking queues also formed outside Bristol and Gatwick airports from 4am yesterday.

It comes following chaotic scenes at Manchester Airport over the weekend when hundreds of Tui passengers were told their holidays had been cancelled after an eight-hour wait.

Industry sources say staffing levels are around 80 to 90 per cent of where they need to be for the peak summer season at larger airports and about 70 per cent at smaller ones.

But airport bosses insist queues have also been exacerbated by passengers turning up earlier than normal from the early hours, with most of the carnage cleared by yesterday afternoon.

Ministers are facing calls to slash more red tape to help travel firms recruit staff quicker in a bid to avoid similar scenes throughout the summer after they slashed thousands of jobs during the pandemic.

But British Airways travellers were warned they face a summer of chaos as two unions representing check-in staff – GMB and UNITE – said they have started balloting members on strike action in a row over pay.

Hundreds of staff at Heathrow Airport took a 10 per cent pay cut during the pandemic and are demanding their full salaries are reinstated amid cost-of-living pressures and passenger numbers surging again after the pandemic.

Without any check-in staff, most flights will likely be grounded.

It comes after easyJet announced it was cancelling at least 200 flights over the half-term holidays, which started yesterday (MON), affecting around 30,000 passengers.

EasyJet axed 32 flights yesterday while British Airways cancelled another 140. BA says the cancellations were made weeks ago and that customers were given plenty of notice.

Like queues at airports, the cancellations are fuelled by staff shortages.

Some airlines and airports have also struggled to recruit new staff since all Covid travel restrictions were dropped by the Government in March.

Operators like BA and easyJet slashed thousands of jobs during the pandemic, which critics say was too many.

Bosses at Bristol Airport said its bottlenecks were being caused by people turning up five hours early for their flights.

But passengers hit back and said the ‘morning rush hour’, during which dozens of flights left before 8am, was simply more than staff could cope with.

One Bristol passenger wrote online: ‘Only half the security lanes open and not fast track.

‘Two hours to get through. Queues started 300m on road outside.’ One father, who booked with airline Vueling, claimed his young teenage son was forced to fly ahead of him due to the flight being overbooked.

He posted: ‘Anyone thinking about booking to fly with @vueling think again. They consistently overbook flights so your flight is not guaranteed.

‘Waiting nearly 6 hours at Gatwick airport and counting.’

Gatwick: One holidaymaker with binoculars found wherever he could to sit after long delays

Gatwick: One holidaymaker with binoculars found wherever he could to sit after long delays
Birmingham: Holidaymakers wait for their bags at 11.30pm, with no sign of them arriving

Birmingham: Holidaymakers wait for their bags at 11.30pm, with no sign of them arriving
Heathrow: Terminal 5, home of British Airways, was also very busy this morning

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last month announced new laws so travel firms can begin training new recruits before they complete security checks.

New rules mean they can also write a letter to HMRC asking them to confirm employment histories, which form part of the checks.

However, industry leaders say they are still taking around four to five weeks to complete.

Boss of Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye, said the Government changes were ‘limited’ and called on ministers to go further by allowing aviation employers to access HMRC records.

He told the Mail: ‘Currently it can take weeks if not months to validate someone’s employment.

‘Quite often we have to do five years of checks for background employment and for some people that might be ten or 15 employers over that time.

‘The HMRC change, accessing their records, would take the amount of time down from about four weeks to four minutes. It’s not too late to make that change.’

Asked about the fiasco yesterday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘We recognize that passengers are understandably frustrated and upset by the delays in some cases and flight cancellations and other disruptions.

‘We want everyone to be able to travel as freely and easily as possible and we want to see the travel and aviation sector bounce back from the pandemic.

‘What we saw what we saw over the weekend is an exceptionally high number of people travelling, which has meant that airports and other ports have been exceptionally busy.

‘We will continue to work with the aviation industry and port sector and be clear with them that we want to see disruption reduced to a minimum that includes working with them in terms of recruitment.’

Separately, a Government spokesman said:

‘The aviation industry is responsible for making sure they have enough staff to meet demand, and we have been clear that they must step up recruitment to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum.’

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