Travel chaos news midterm: Grant Shapps accuses travel companies of ‘serious overselling’ of flights and holidays

British tourists hoping to fly this week face ongoing travel disruptions across the UK, with widespread queues at airports, flight delays and cancellations.

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

The transportation secretary accused airlines and tour operators of “serious overselling of flights and vacations.”

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

“Despite government warnings, carriers oversold flights and holidays relative to their ability to deliver. This must not happen again and all efforts must be directed at not repeating it during the summer, the first post-Covid summer season,” Mr Shapps said.

Britain’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, canceled at least 40 domestic and European flights on Wednesday, mostly to and from its biggest base, London Gatwick airport.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that police have been called in to help hundreds of Tui passengers “marooned” on the tarmac 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 get worse” over the summer, unions have warned.

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

“The unions repeatedly warned the government and aviation employers that cutting staff during the crisis would lead to problems with the post-pandemic surge,” he said.

“The government points to the furlough scheme, but ignores that it ended long before most international travel restrictions ended. We now see staffing shortages across the industry, with a heavy reliance on overtime to get through the day.

“In many areas, like air traffic control, overtime is just a temporary plaster. So things could get worse this summer before they get better.”

Rory SullivanJune 1, 2022 08:51

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MPs say Tui has treated passengers ‘with total contempt’

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

Two MPs from Greater Manchester, former airport chief Graham Stringer and Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, have fired at the Christmas giant.

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

“They have been treated with total contempt. They did not attempt to speak to passengers who had been queuing to get on the plane and let police and Manchester airport staff tell them. He is totally contemptuous.”

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

“TUI says it will cancel 43 flights a week between now and the end of June, but refuses to say which ones will be affected, which only serves to add to the chaos and confusion at a time when its customers desperately need transparency and clarity. .

“The offer of a refund will be a small consolation for families who have long been itching to leave.”

Helen CoffeyJune 1, 2022 08:02

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EasyJet cancels 40 flights

Britain’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, canceled at least 40 domestic and European flights on Wednesday, mostly to and from its biggest base, London Gatwick airport.

the independent estimates that six domestic flights from easyJet’s main base have been cancelled, including two return trips from Gatwick to Edinburgh.

Twenty international flights are cancelled, 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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Good morning and welcome to the independentlive travel blog We will bring you the latest news and updates throughout the day.

Helen CoffeyJune 1, 2022 07:51

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Grant Shapps demands answers from aviation chiefs

Airline and airport bosses have been summoned to a meeting with the transport secretary after he demanded answers on “what went wrong” in recent days.

Grant Shapps insisted the government had “done its part” to support the industry, referring to the £8bn awarded during the pandemic as well as changes to the recruitment process, saying workers needed to make sure that there would be no more interruptions.

“It has been very distressing to see passengers facing even more disruption at airports, canceling their well-deserved vacations and leaving plans in disarray,” he said in a statement late Thursday.

“We have made it clear that industry leaders need to tackle the issues we saw at Easter head-on.

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

The government will meet again with airports, airlines and ground handlers to “find out what went wrong and how they plan to end the current string of cancellations and delays,” it said.

He added: “The government has done its part. It is now up to airports, airlines and ground handlers to make sure that everyone’s well-deserved vacation can continue without the major disruptions we have seen in recent days.”

Zaina AlibhaiJune 1, 2022 03:03

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Dublin airport ‘cannot guarantee it will stop further delays’

Dublin Airport cannot guarantee a repeat of this weekend’s chaotic scenes, the Irish Transport Minister said.

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

After a meeting with the Dublin Airport Authority (daa) to discuss next steps, Eamon Ryan, the transport secretary, said: “They said they can’t guarantee, but what we said is you have to do everything is within your reach, the government will do everything”. to support, so that we don’t see those scenes again.

“You can’t continue. You have to give a good service to the public, you can’t have someone queuing for two or three hours and then not being able to get a flight.

“It is simply not acceptable and cannot be tolerated.

“The airport has to manage its operations so that it 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 that the chaos seen at airports this week could continue into the summer, as British Airways check-in staff are voted to go on strike in a wage dispute.

Union Unite said Heathrow airport staff received a 10 per cent pay cut during the Covid pandemic, which airline bosses refused to reverse, despite restoring their own pay to pre-pandemic levels.

The vote, which covers some 500 staff members, will open on June 7 and close on June 27 and, if approved, will take place in July.

My colleague lucy thackray reports:

Zaina AlibhaiJune 1, 2022 00:11

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All EasyJet flights canceled from UK airports

EasyJet canceled around 42 flights to and from London Gatwick, representing 10 per cent of its planned flights on Tuesday.

The nation’s largest budget airline gave two days’ notice to most of the roughly 6,000 affected customers, but more were cut short by more “on-the-day” cancellations.

These included key holiday destinations like Venice, Amsterdam and Athens, but here’s a list of EasyJet’s canceled flights on Tuesday.

  • amsterdam
  • Athens
  • belfast city
  • Sedan
  • Biarritz
  • budapest
  • Cologne
  • Copenhagen (2)
  • Krakow
  • luxembourg
  • Madrid
  • Marrakesh
  • Milan Linate
  • Milan Malpensa
  • Preveza
  • River
  • Sofia
  • Valencia
  • Venice
  • Zurich

Zaina Alibhai31 May 2022 22:49

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ICYMI: Eurostar passengers forced to wait in the rain after delay

The chaotic scenes have not only been seen at airports: hundreds of Eurostar passengers were forced to wait in line, reportedly for up to three hours.

The queue at London’s St Pancras was so long that it snaked out of the station and along the road, and people had to endure the wet weather.

Passenger Svenja O’Donnell claimed to have been patiently queuing for almost three hours, without being given much information.

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

At least one train from London to Paris departed without any of its on-board toilets working, with Eurostar attributing the outage to a technical fault.

“Unfortunately we had a technical failure on one train this morning which meant we had to take it out of service,” a statement read.

“As a consequence, there are delays of 30 to 60 minutes at the London St Pancras exit.

“Queues are moving and our staff are working hard to take care of passengers and ensure their check-in is as smooth as possible.”

Read the full story here:

Zaina Alibhai31 May 2022 21:34

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Labor accuses government of being ‘missing in action’

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

“Conservative ministers can’t even get the basics right,” said shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh.

“They should show some responsibility, do their job and take concrete steps to address the chaos growing under their command.”

In addition to apparent technical difficulties among 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 asked the government for more financial support in the past two years as travel bans around the world wreaked havoc on the industry.

Now, with travel restrictions lifting and travel demand rising, they are struggling under the pressure.

Zaina Alibhai31 May 2022 20:17

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