Mid-term travel chaos news: Grant Shapps accuses travel companies of ‘seriously overselling’ flights and vacations

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British holidaymakers hoping to take off this week are facing continued travel disruption across the UK, with widespread queues at airports, flight delays and cancellations.

Grant Shapps is the latest politician to step in, blaming the travel industry for the chaos.

The Transport Secretary has accused airlines and tour operators of ‘seriously overselling flights and holidays’.

He said he would meet with airports, airlines and ground handlers to “find out what’s wrong and how they plan to end the current series of cancellations and delays”.

“Despite government warnings, operators have seriously oversold flights and holidays against their ability to deliver. This must not happen again and all efforts must be aimed at ensuring that it does not happen again over the summer – the first post-Covid summer season,” Mr Shapps said.

Britain’s biggest low-cost airline, easyJet, canceled at least 40 domestic and European flights on Wednesday – mostly to and from its biggest base, London Gatwick Airport.

Meanwhile, it emerged police were called in to help hundreds of ‘abandoned’ Tui passengers on the runway at Manchester Airport for three hours on Sunday.

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Travel chaos ‘could get worse’ this summer, union warns

Travel chaos at UK airports this semester “could worsen” over the summer, unions have warned.

Prospect union deputy general secretary Garry Graham warned holidaymakers may not have seen the worst of the disruption yet.

“Unions have repeatedly warned government and aviation employers that downsizing during the crisis will lead to problems with post-pandemic ramp-up,” he said.

“The government highlights the furlough scheme but ignores that it ended long before the majority of international travel restrictions ended. We are now seeing staffing shortages across the industry, with a huge reliance on overtime to get by on a day-to-day basis.

“In many areas, such as air traffic control, overtime is just a temporary band-aid. So things could get worse this summer before they get better.

RorySullivanJune 1, 2022 8:51 a.m.

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MPs say Tui treated passengers ‘with complete disregard’

MPs have slammed tour operator Tui after it announced it would cancel hundreds of flights and holidays from Manchester over the next month.

Two Greater Manchester MPs, former airport boss Graham Stringer and deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner, both fired on the holiday giant.

Mr Stringer said: “I think the treatment of customers from start to finish has been appalling.

“They treated them with complete disregard. They did not try to speak to passengers queuing to board the plane and left it to the police to tell them and staff at Manchester Airport. It’s totally contemptuous. »

Ms Rayner said: “To cancel a holiday at the last minute is a real kick in the teeth for families in my constituency and Greater Manchester, many of whom have been looking forward to their first time abroad since the pandemic.

“TUI says it will cancel 43 flights a week by the end of June but refuses to say which will be affected, only adding to the chaos and confusion at a time when their customers desperately need transparency and of clarity.

“Offering a refund will be just a small comfort to families who have been waiting a long time to leave.”

Helene CoffeyJune 1, 2022 08:02

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EasyJet cancels 40 flights

Britain’s biggest low-cost airline, easyJet, canceled at least 40 domestic and European flights on Wednesday – mostly to and from its biggest base, London Gatwick Airport.

The Independent calculates that six domestic flights have been grounded from easyJet’s main base, including two return trips from Gatwick to Edinburgh.

Twenty international flights are canceled, including round trips from Gatwick to Catania in Sicily, Prague and Bordeaux.

See the full list of cancellations:

Simon CalderJune 1, 2022 07:52

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Hello and welcome to The IndependentThe live travel blog. We’ll bring you all the latest news and updates throughout the day.

Helene CoffeyJune 1, 2022 07:51

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Grant Shapps demands answers from aviation bosses

Airline and airport bosses have been summoned to a meeting with the Transport Secretary after he demanded answers about “what was wrong” over the past few days.

Grant Shapps insisted the Government had ‘done its part’ to support the industry – referring to the £8bn given during the pandemic as well as changes to the recruitment process – and said that the workers had to make sure that there were no more disturbances.

“It has been very distressing to see passengers facing even more disruption at airports – having well-deserved vacations canceled and plans left in disarray,” he said in a statement on Thursday evening.

“We have been clear that industry leaders need to tackle the issues we saw over Easter head-on.

“While some steps have been taken, we are still not seeing the progress we need.”

The government will meet again with airports, airlines and ground providers to “find out what’s wrong and how they plan to end the current series of cancellations and delays”, he said.

He added: “The government has done its part. It is now up to airports, airlines and ground service providers to ensure that everyone’s well-deserved holiday can take place without the major disruptions we have had. seen in the last few days.”

Zaina AlibhaiJune 1, 2022 03:03

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Dublin Airport ‘cannot guarantee it will stop further delays’

Dublin Airport cannot guarantee that the chaotic scenes of this weekend will not be repeated, the Irish Minister for Transport has said.

More than 1,000 passengers missed their flight in Dublin on Sunday and long queues formed for people to drop off their bags and go through security checks.

After a meeting with the Dublin Airports Authority (daa) to discuss the next steps, Eamon Ryan, the Transport Secretary, said: “They said they couldn’t guarantee, but what we said, is that you have to do everything in your power, the government will do everything to support, so we will not see these scenes again.

“This cannot continue. You have to provide adequate service to the public, you can’t have someone who has to wait in line for two or three hours and then not be able to catch a flight.

“It is simply not acceptable and it cannot be tolerated.

“The airport needs to manage its operations so that doesn’t happen.”

Liam JamesJune 1, 2022 01:40

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Airport disruption could worsen as BA staff vote on strike

There are fears the chaos seen at airports this week could continue into the summer as British Airways check-in staff are voted out for strike action in a pay dispute.

Union Unite said staff at Heathrow Airport received a 10 per cent pay cut during the Covid pandemic, which airline bosses refused to rescind – despite restoring their own pay to levels before the pandemic.

Voting – covering around 500 employees – will open on June 7 and end on June 27, and if approved, will take place in July.

My colleague Lucy Thackray reports:

Zaina AlibhaiJune 1, 2022 12:11 a.m.

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All EasyJet flights canceled from UK airports

Around 42 flights to and from London Gatwick have been grounded by EasyJet, representing 10% of its scheduled flights on Tuesday.

The country’s biggest low-cost airline gave a two-day warning to most of the estimated 6,000 customers affected, but others were disrupted by further “over the day” cancellations.

Among them were key holiday destinations such as Venice, Amsterdam and Athens, but here is a list of EasyJet flights canceled on Tuesday.

  • amsterdam
  • Athens
  • City of Belfast
  • Berlin
  • Biarritz
  • Budapest
  • Cologne
  • Copenhagen (2)
  • Krakow
  • Luxemburg
  • Madrid
  • Marrakesh
  • Milan Linate
  • Milan Malpensa
  • Preveza
  • Rijeka
  • Sofia
  • Valence
  • Venice
  • Zürich

Zaina AlibhaiMay 31, 2022 10:49 p.m.

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ICYMI: Eurostar passengers forced to wait in rain after delay

Chaotic scenes weren’t just seen at airports – hundreds of Eurostar passengers were forced to wait in a queue, allegedly for up to three hours.

The line at London’s St Pancras was so long it snaked out of the station and along the road outside, with people having to endure the wet weather.

Passenger Svenja O’Donnell said she patiently waited in line for nearly three hours, with little information given to her.

Another traveler complained of “waiting outside in the rain” and that there were “no clear signs or explanations”.

At least one train from London to Paris left without any of its onboard toilets working, with Eurostar blaming the disruption on a technical fault.

“Unfortunately, we had a technical problem on a train earlier this morning which forced us to take it out of service,” a statement read.

“As a result, there are delays of 30 to 60 minutes departing from London St Pancras.

“The queues are moving and our staff are working hard to care for passengers and make sure their check-in goes as smoothly as possible.”

Read the full story here:

Zaina AlibhaiMay 31, 2022 9:34 p.m.

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Labor accuses government of being ‘missing’

Labor has accused the government of being “missing” as travel disruption continues to escalate across the country.

“Tory ministers can’t even master the basics,” said shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh.

“They should show responsibility, do their job and take concrete action to tackle the growing chaos under their watch.”

In addition to the apparent technical difficulties of some airlines, the aviation industry is suffering from staff shortages after laying off thousands of employees during the Covid pandemic.

Airlines and airports have repeatedly pleaded with the government for increased financial support over the past two years as global travel bans have taken their toll on the industry.

Now, with travel restrictions lifted and travel demand increasing, they are struggling under pressure.

Zaina AlibhaiMay 31, 2022 8:17 p.m.

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