WITH HUNDREDS of flights being cancelled, Brits are being forced make choices between being left stranded or forking out more money to return home.
Some passengers are being left to queue for hours and hours with no update on what’s going on, while others cry with helplessness at being let down by their airline.
For many people, this was their first flight abroad since the pandemic. One passenger said: “If we knew it was going to be cancelled in advance, we could’ve made other plans.
“I was really looking forward to this holiday – first one in ages and now it’s looking like it won’t happen.”
Meanwhile, holidaymakers preparing to travel to and from Italy tomorrow are advised to double-check the status of their flight.
Easyjet has reported on its website that multiple strike actions in Italy could be taken on Wednesday 8 June. They are set to walk-out between 10am and 2pm, it also reported.
Easyjet says on its website: “Like all airlines operating to and from Italy, we may see some disruption to our flying programme on this date.
“We advise customers due to travel to, from or within Italy on 8 June to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker on our mobile app or website at www.easyjet.com/(Your flight number).
“Although this is outside of our control, we would like to reassure customers that we are doing all possible to minimise any disruption that may occur as a result of the strike action.”
Read our TUI cancellations live blog below for the latest updates…
Should I take any action myself if my flight’s been cancelled?
You might be worried about putting your holiday in jeopardy amid the recent travel chaos, but jumping the gun could leave you worse off.
If you cancel your own flights without the right cover you could be refused your money back altogether.
A good way to make sure your back is covered is by getting travel insurance.
If you can’t claim compensation directly through the airline, your travel insurance may refund you instead.
Policies vary so you should check the small print, but a delay of eight to 12 hours will normally mean you qualify for some money from your insurer.
Make sure to get written confirmation of your delay from the airport as your insurer will want to see some kind of proof so to pay-out.
How to get back what you’re owed due to a cancelled flight
You’ll have to go straight to your travel provider if you want to get back anything you’re owed.
EasyJet customers can go to manage my booking on its website or app, where you can switch your flight for free, get a voucher to use in the next 12 months or request a full refund.
TUI customers meanwhile, can do the same on its own refund request page.
If you’re after a full refund you should get it back within seven days.
To claim compensation though, usually your flight needs to have departed from a UK airport, arrived into a UK airport and was with a UK or EU airline or arrived into the EU and was with a UK airline.
You could be able to claim for £220 per person on shorter journeys, and £520 on longer distances says one travel expert.
If these don’t apply, you need to contact the airline to get back anything you feel you may be owed.
Explained: When will normal flight service resume?
The Aviation minister Robert Courts announced he would be relaxing the vetting process last month to ease the pressure, allowing airports and airlines to train staff before the checks had been finished.
But that hasn’t solved the problem as staff can’t work airside – where the planes are – until they have been approved.
That affects everything from baggage control to air traffic control and airport security.
However, there is no time frame for when flights will be back to normal, although it is hoped it will calm down after the half term rush.
Why are flights being cancelled?
It is a perfect storm of issues, including staffing problems, IT glitches, runway works and air traffic restrictions.
Both airlines and airports were haemorrhaging cash over the course of the pandemic, as Brits were put off foreign holidays thanks to either travel bans, the threat of quarantine or the ever-changing government travel traffic light system.
That meant staff had to be laid off, with many inevitably finding another career that they have no intention of returning from.
For airports and airlines looking to recruit new staff, the process is more complicated than in a normal occupation due to safety issues.
They have to go through counter-terror checks by the government in order to start the job, which has taken longer than usual thanks to the overwhelming numbers of staff being recruited.
Then there’s the cabin crew – there needs to be one flight attendant per 50 seats on planes with more than 19 seats.
There are also still large numbers of people catching Covid, which means staff have had to call in sick – throwing timetables into disarray.
While budget and long-haul airlines struggle, Virgin are making life better for staff
In the past, staff were unable to allow any tattoos to show while they worked.
Virgin Atlantic has announced that they are now happy for staff to have their tattoos on show when they work rather than covering them up.
Chief people officer at Virgin Atlantic, Estelle Hollingsworth, said in a statement: “Many people use tattoos to express their unique identities and our customer-facing and uniformed colleagues should not be excluded from doing so if they choose.”
Tik-Tok hack to keep flight costs down on Ryanair is ‘life-changing’
The hack helps with the in-flight costs that normally hike the flight costs up.
Trainee trends writer for Glasgow Live, Katie Williams tried the hack and said it was ‘life-saving’ hack.
The idea is that a passenger uses toiletry bags to fold clothes into and then put inside a rucksack.
The idea is that rather than paying for larger luggage a passenger would be able to fit more clothes in their hand luggage.
Would you try this hack?
Wedding plans dashed due to Ryanair incompetence
A couple set to get married in Bergamo were left without clothes.
The couple were forced to buy last minute clothes to get married in after ages of planning.
Norrie and Shona Lewis from Edinburgh were left without their wedding clothes when they boarded a Ryanair flight and their luggage was left behind.
Their clothes for their honeymoon were also in their suitcase so they’ll have to buy new ones leaving them “out of pocket.”
Norrie said: “We flew with Ryanair which was delayed for two hours. The communication about which gate to go to was non-existent, and it was not even on the departure board.
“When the gate was then changed there was no announcement or communication to us.
“We were supposed to leave at 5pm but left after 8pm to Bergamo.
“Both my wife and I lost our luggage – it was a disaster when we got to Italy.”
He said the staff in Italy were confused when asked what happened to the luggage of 40 people. They simply went home, leaving the travellers without their belongings.
Is this the end of easyJet?
It’s not yet clear what the cause of the flight chaos is.
Many are pointing to the pandemic as the route cause but this isn’t the first time the budget airline has been under attack for cancelled flights and poor customer service.
Today, it’s had to cancel 60 flights.
Many are blaming the cutting of staff during the pandemic, while other look to the government for answers as they see Brexit as the problem.
Either way, it’s unclear whether or not easyJet will survive the fallout.
British Airways miss the mark
Passengers are struggling to travel.
Despite people being stranded all over the world with the inability to get home, the airline share nostalgic images.
In honour of the jubilee, BA have shared images of the queen being transported by British Airlines.
Meanwhile customers are left in tears unable to travel home.
With flights constantly being cancelled, find out if your flight is one of them
If you have plans in the coming weeks, here’s how to find out if your flights are cancelled or not.
If your flight has been cancelled, you should be contacted by your airline straight away.
If you’re due to fly soon and you’re worried your flight might have been cancelled but you haven’t been contacted by your airline, you can use a flight tracker.
Three of the best are:
Forced to spend almost £1000 to return home
A 23-year-old went on holiday with two friends to Germany.
Joel Pennington took time to have a fun holiday with two friends.
The young man, who is from the Lake District, has had to fork out £700 to get home after the airlines failed to get him home.
Flying with Lufthansa, whose slogan is “Book more flexibly now and fly with no worries”, Pennington said the journey home has overshadowed what was a great holiday.
To get home, the holidaymaker flew from Germany to Norway and then from there to London. After the £700 already spent, he’s still not home as he needs to get up to Manchester.
Disabled woman was left on a plane for 90 minutes alone yesterday
The Brit had travelled to Malta on holiday.
The woman who hails from Shepherd’s Bush, West London was left waiting for staff to help her.
After returning from her holiday to Malta, Victoria Brignell who is paralysed from the neck down was left to wait on the platform alone for 90 minutes.
Gatwick has apologised saying the delay was “unacceptable”.
Ms Brignell explained what happened: “Shortly after landing the BA airline staff came up to me and said they’re sorry but the people who are meant to help get me off the plane would not be there for 50 minutes.
“In the end I was waiting an hour and 35 minutes.
“I am paralysed from the neck down so I can’t use my arms or legs. To get off a plane I need two people to lift me from the airplane seat into an aisle chair, which is a specially designed narrow wheelchair to push me along the aisle off the plane, and lift me into my wheelchair waiting outside.
The people who were supposed to help me were busy elsewhere.”
Ms Brignell said the British Airways staff were “fantastic”, very apologetic and provided her with drinks while she waited for the Gatwick Airport staff to arrive.
Tears were flowing as further flights get cancelled
The flight fiasco has gone on for weeks now and shows no sign of letting up.
For many across the country this is the first time they’ve travelled since before the pandemic.
Kids are missing exams as they’re unable to fly home and families are left disappointed and frustrated at not being able to travel out in the first place.
A Spanish national who lives in Brighton, Diego Garcia Rodriguez, 32, said passengers at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday were left in tears due to last-minute cancellations.
Travel is back so beware the influencers
The worst of COVID-19 appears to be over and people are making the most of it.
Despite the chaos over the past weeks showing no signs of letting up, influencers are finding time to travel and monetise their social media reach.
But not all hotels and holiday destinations share the same opinion.
While some wish they would stop contacting them, others welcome the extra advertisement.
Louise O’Brien, regional director of public relations for the Americas at the Langham Hospitality Group is a fan of influencers, particularly for the Langham on Fifth Avenue, New York.
She said: “Ninety percent of the people we work with are amazing, they are very diligent, this is their business and they do it well.”
Meanwhile Gail Behr of Dorp Hotel in Cape Town is not a fan. She quipped: “I call them influenzas.”
“Posing, wearing hardly anything in a hotel room does nothing for us, it’s not the clientele we’re after,” she explains.
Ryanair making life hard for South Africans
The Airline is reportedly making South Africans fill out a test before travelling.
Things with Ryanair appear to be going from bad to worse.
With flights cancelled in the UK and abroad, and customers claiming terrible customer service, it’s surprising the airline has put a nationality-proof test in place for South Africans.
According to Euronews, Ryanair are demanding their passengers from South Africa fill out a test to prove they are truly South African by checking if they can speak Afrikaans.
The language is known to be spoken by just 12% of the country’s population.
British Airways receive mixed feedback
While some are appalled by the airlines conduct, others are overjoyed.
BA cancelled over 100 flights to Heathrow today, but claim passengers were given prior notice.
Despite apparently forewarning passengers, some aren’t happy with the service, while others couldn’t be happier.
@British_Airways you’re grounding local flights but won’t give a refund/allow rescheduling for flights after the 12th?
— Hlogi (@Jess_Mak) June 7, 2022
@British_Airways was fantastic and so helpful everyone was so polite. The security team was great too and happy !!! Can’t fault anyone here.
— Mr & mrs campbell (@Chantel32418077) June 7, 2022
More and more flights continue to be cancelled
Worries soar as more flights are axed and airlines struggle with demand.
EasyJet has cancelled at least 35 flights already today and Gatwick appears to be the worst affected UK airport.
Meanwhile, Hungary’s Wizz Air has scrapped at least seven flights due to serve UK airports.
British Airways on the other hand has cancelled 124 flights to Heathrow, but it claims passenger were given prior notice. It’s not clear how far in advance the passengers were notified.
Travel Agents struggling with the Summer worries
Britons have been stranded at home and abroad struggling to get flights.
The chaos of the flights have left passengers struggling and unable to get to school and work, to out to their holiday destinations.
Due to the mess, people are worried they may not be able to travel during the Summer holidays.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, which represents independent travel agents told the PA news agency: “About 30% of all calls [my staff] are receiving now are from customers that are reading the headlines, have bookings for July and August in the school holidays, and they are worried.”
Ryanair continues to come under fire from passengers
Passengers have repeatedly complained about the airline’s customer service.
Some are finding the airline difficult to contact, while others are frustrated that the information is simply unclear.
@Ryanair your app is an embarassment. How can you advertise mobile boarding passes on the app on your website, then say they have to be printed? What is this COVID document nonsense? One link is UK gov saying nothing is needed, one is stay at home regs and other is broken link
— Tom Pigden (@TomPigden) June 7, 2022
London Travel resumes normally as the Strike ends
Transport across the capital came to standstill.
TFL workers went on strike yesterday for 24 hours leading people across the city to struggle.
The official statements blames pay and working standards.
As the strike started at 8am yesterday, it ended this morning at the same time.
Good morning! This is Ije Teunissen-Oligboh bringing you the latest travel updates and news.
Frantic Brits left stranded abroad by flight cancellations
THOUSANDS of Brits have been left stranded abroad after their flights were cancelled over the weekend – missing important exams and work.
Following a week of chaos, many Brits who went abroad had hoped to be back in time for the start of the school term today.
Mum Emma said her 17-year-old son was facing missing his GCSE exam after his flights back from Disneyland were cancelled.
She told BBC there was “no guarantee” he would be back in time, being forced to pay for Eurostar tickets after easyJet couldn’t fly him back before Tuesday.
And dad-of-four Joe said his kids were having to miss three days of school because their return flights from Tenerife were cancelled twice.
It’s not just kids – teachers have said they are also unable to get home in time for the start of school following half-term holidays today.
Kelly and her husband, both teachers, said their easyJet flights from Montenegro were cancelled, and couldn’t fly back until Thursday.
Is this travel mayhem the new normal?
Many have been caught up in travel chaos in London due to strikes, as well as being stranded without a flight.
While the powers that be can’t agree on the reasons for the situation, it seems clear it’s due to the pandemic and/or Brexit.
If this is the case, will it ever get better?
Flight chaos might have you wondering about travel insurance
Does travel insurance cover cancellations?
According to Money Supermarket, cancellation insurance covers money lost.
But not all insurance covers cancellations.
Check your insurance before you travel!
Schools disrupted in the wake of flight madness
Kids and teachers are stranded abroad.
Flight cancellations all over Europe are leaving people stranded.
Many travelled to have a break during the half term holidays, but with teachers unable to fly back, classes are struggling to resume.
And children, whose studies were disrupted due to the pandemic, continue to miss classes.
There is still no timeline for when the mess will be sorted.