Heathrow AND Gatwick in chaos as bosses axe flights at last minute (2022)

Heathrow and Gatwick have been plunged into total chaos this morning as bosses axe flights at the last minute and passengers spend hours on runways before being confronted with even bigger delays trying to get their bags.

People travelling through the country's two busiest airports have voiced their frustration today after they were beset with delays when attempting to go on their holidays.

It comes aftera rare 'schedule intervention' at Heathrow, in which west Londonairport last night told its 20 biggest carriers that they needed to move 30 flights from the morning peak.

It was a move that meant at least 5,000 travellers woke up to find their flights affected or even cancelled, with the airport saying it would not be able to cope with the high number of passengers in its terminals.

Meanwhile, passengers at Gatwick were left frustrated by the 'out of control' line for security, and some arrivals left waiting 'nearly two hours' for baggage.

People at both airports took to social media to vent at what they saw as poor service at the London travel hubs.

'Total chaos at Heathrow this morning,' one tweeted, 'BA flights cancelled and zero customer service!'

Another branded Terminal 5 a 'disgraceful shambles', adding: 'Left home at 3.30am, checked flight and cancelled on arrival.'

At Gatwick one person said the wait for luggage to arrive was 'an absolute joke', while another blasted the 'ridiculous queue' at security.

Passengers line up to check in with British Airways at Gatwick Airport this morning. The airport saw long queues for check in and security today

Passengers at Heathrow have arrived at the airport today to find travel misery as flights were cancelled overnight. Pictured are two passengers waiting with their luggage at Terminal 5 this morning

People took to social media to vent at the experience at Heathrow and Gatwick this morning. Pictured is the queue for British Airways check in at Gatwick Airport today

People queue at Heathrow's Terminal 5 this morning. The airport told its 20 biggest carriers 30 flights needed to be moved from its morning peak today

Passengers line up with their suitcases at check in in Terminal 5 this morning. Flights were cancelled and delayed after airport bosses told airlines it could not cope with the high number of travellers in its terminals today

A group of travellers sits down in Terminal 5 this morning while waiting for their flight. At least 5,000 passengers woke up this morning to find their flights cancelled or delayed

The Government's 22-point plan to avoid airport chaos

The Government ha unveiled a 22-point plan to tackle flight disruption this summer.

The strategy is aimed at avoiding a repeat of the chaos seen at UK airports during the Easter and Jubilee holidays.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there is 'no excuse for widespread disruption' and holidaymakers 'deserve certainty'.

Tens of thousands of passengers have suffered flight cancellations and huge queues at airports in recent months.

Demand for travel will surge again as schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland break up for summer this week, while the academic year for those in England and Wales ends in around three weeks.

The Government's action plan includes a number of measures previously announced, such as encouraging airlines to make sure their schedule are 'deliverable', an amnesty on slot rules and permitting new aviation workers to begin training before passing security checks.

A new passenger charter will be published in the coming weeks, providing passengers with a 'one-stop guide' informing them of their rights and what they can expect from airports and airlines when flying.

<!- - ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/de/news/none/article/other/mpu_factbox.html?id=mpu_factbox_1 - ->


The UK's biggest airport says it expects 98 per cent of flights will operate as planned, while most passengers whose flights were affected are expected to be rebooked and placed on flights today during non-peak times.

It follows months of chaotic scenes at airports across the country due to crippling staff shortages amid an unprecedented surge in demand as the world exits the Covid pandemic.

It comes as the Government unveils a 22-point plan to tackle flight disruption this summer in a bid to avoid a repeat of travel chaos seen at airports during the Easter and Jubilee holidays.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there is 'no excuse for widespread disruption' and holidaymakers 'deserve certainty'.

The Government's action plan includes a number of measures previously announced, such as encouraging airlines to make sure their schedule are 'deliverable', an amnesty on slot rules and permitting new aviation workers to begin training before passing security checks.

Announcing the plan in the Commons today, Mr Shapps said: 'We appreciate the airports are busy as they recover, but the very last thing we want to see repeated are the scenes that we saw at Easter and half term.

'So, let me stress, there is absolutely no excuse for further widespread disruption.

'It's now more than 100 days since we announced easing of travel restrictions, but to further support the industry as it prepares for the summer, today I'm announcing a 22-point plan with a written ministerial statement to this House to help recruit, retain staff, improve resilience, so that passenger disruption this summer is minimised.

'And to make sure that if delays do unfortunately occur, travellers get properly compensated.'

However, in the House of Commons today Labour's shadow transport minister Mike Kane accused Mr Shapps of being 'missing in action' when it comes to aviation.

Some travellers hit out at the 'absolutely ridiculous' waiting time to get through security. Pictured is the queue for security at Gatwick Airport today

A woman sleeps on a bench in Heathrow's Terminal 5 this morning. Passengers branded the cancellations a 'disgraceful shambles'

Passengers in Terminal 5 queue this morning at check in. Most passengers whose flights were affected are expected to be rebooked and placed on flights today during non-peak times

A passenger at Heathrow tweeted this image this morning, branding the situation 'total chaos', after airlines were forced to cancel or reschedule 30 flights

Rugby team left training in socks after luggage lost on flight

A rugby team has been left to train in socks - after its luggage was lost on the trip from Heathrow to South Africa.

The 30-strong squad college team from Gwent, South Wales, landed in Cape Town without their rugby kit.

The teenage team flew from Heathrow via Frankfurt on Monday but were left with just the clothes on their backs.

Staff at Coleg Gwent took the boys shopping for emergency clothes - and teams in South Africa offered kit for their first match in Cape Town.

The boys are due to fly out to Johannesburg on Friday for two more games and they will watch Wales take on the Springboks on Saturday.

Mum Claire Gilfillan said the boys, all aged around 17, were left training bare chested and some of them were barefoot, or in socks.

She said: 'The college has tried to help, taking them shopping to buy little bits, and the local community has been great.

'The hostel they're in has been washing for them, and a local school is helping with kit.

'Some parents have been contacting friends living in South Africa to see if they can help, and I tried buying some things on Amazon - but they don't have it over there.

Despite having no luggage, the boys have still tried to make the most of their trip by going to Table Mountain

She added that she had transferred money to a card for her son, but he was fed up with not having his own stuff.

'Some of the boys had money in their suitcases, lots of the boys have been kitted out for the summer, or had equipment, chargers in their bag, others had Welsh tops bought to wear to the game on Saturday.

'We're thankful for what the college has done so far, trying to buy them boots, but we've heard nothing from Lufthansa.'

Mrs Gilfillan said the boys still managed to do the trips they had planned, including a visit to Table Mountain in Cape Town, but everyone was finding it stressful.

She added: 'It's the trip of a lifetime, we've paid £1,200 for the trip, but they've just got the clothes they travelled in.

'No-one will want to sit next to them at the Wales-Springboks game.'

Airline Lufthansa has been asked to comment.

<!- - ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/de/news/none/article/other/mpu_factbox.html?id=mpu_factbox_2 - ->


Mr Kane said: 'He is missing in action when it comes to aviation. Now, he has mentioned the chaos between Easter and the Jubilee weekend. He did not hold one meeting with aviation bosses during that time.

'Now EasyJet have announced among others that they could cancel 10,000 flights in the next three months.

'He needs to step up to the plate, he needs to go to the Prime Minister, he needs to knock on the door, and he needs to clean up the mess.'

Heathrow was first plunged into chaos in March as bosses struggled to hire enough workers amid widespread labour shortages in Britain.

And the situation risks worsening as British Airway staff are also threatening to strike, after unions rejected a 10 per cent pay offer in favour of walkouts as early as next month, potentially during the school holidays.

'We are expecting higher passenger numbers in the morning peak than the airport currently has capacity to serve, and so to keep everyone safe we have asked airlines to remove 30 flights from the morning peak,' a spokesman for the airport said today.

'We will work with airlines to get affected passengers rebooked on to other flights outside of the peak so that as many as possible can get away tomorrow, and we apologise for the impact this has on travel plans.'

Airlines may now be left with hefty compensation bills, depending on how many passengers they are able to quickly re-route.

In line with the EU 261 law, carriers must try to find passengers an alternative, including with their rivals.

Passengers arriving more than two hours late to their destination are entitled to compensation.

The Civil Aviation Authority said: 'Although most airlines will book you on to another of their flights to the same destination, if an alternative airline is flying there significantly sooner or other suitable modes of transport are available, then you may have the right to be booked on to that alternative transport instead.'

A source for Heathrow told the Times that airlines, which have the contract with passengers, must pay the compensation and then 'take up the matter' with the airport.

The issues started overnight, with singer-songwriter Stacey Jackson complaining that she had to wait at least two hours on the tarmac at Heathrow after landing because the airport had 'closed', before being told they faced waiting until the morning to disembark because there were 'no staff' in the airport.

'This is legitimately nuts,' she tweeted, 'Two hours on the tarmac waiting for a gate, no baggage handlers so no bags, passengers and kids exhausted... s**t show!'

She added that when she arrived it was 'as if they didn't even know we were arriving' because there were no baggage handlers - meaning people had to go home without their luggage.

Speaking to MailOnline, Ms Jackson said: 'The captain kept coming on saying "there's no gate, we've got no-one to open the gate".

'I already got a text from British Airways saying "we are terribly sorry you aren't getting your bags today".'

She added that on arriving at security the e-gates were closed and she overheard an official saying 'nobody told us you were coming'.

'It couldn't believe that could even happen, that was really hilarious,' she said.

Stacey Jackson, pictured here at her home in 2019, passengers from her flight were told to go home without their luggage

Ms Jackson added that as she left the airport she made her way past a huge pile of bags and suitcases that had been left in the terminal.

'I'm lucky because I'm coming home - it's the people who are travelling and coming to London, I feel awful for them,' she said.

Meanwhile a college rugby team from Wales were left training in their socks after their luggage was lost on a trip from Heathrow to South Africa.

Members of the 30-strong squad from Gwent, South Wales, flew to Cape Town for a tour of the country where they will face South African teams.

The teenage team flew from Heathrow via Frankfurt on Monday but were left with just the clothes on their backs when their suitcases did not arrive with them and they have been left relying on the kindness of locals to outfit them for their games.

Claire Gilfillan, who is a parent of one of the students on the trip, said the boys were left training bare chested and some of them were barefoot or in socks.

'It's the trip of a lifetime, we've paid £1,200 for the trip, but they've just got the clothes they travelled in,' she said.

The airline they flew with, Lufthansa, has been contacted for comment.

'Disgraceful shambles': Fuming passengers hit out at chaotic scenes at Heathrow Airport overnight and this morning, including singer-songwriter Stacey Jackson, who said they waited at least two hours on the tarmac late last night and were told they faced having to wait until the morning to disembark due to a lack of staff

There were painfully-long queues reported at Birmingham Airport this morning, as sun-starved Brits looked to get away for a summer break.

One branded it a 'f*****g nightmare' while another said there were queues snaking 'all the way back to arrivals.'

There were also frustrated passengers at Stansted this morning when one Ryanair flight from Poland landed shortly after midnight, after being delayed at Krakow airport.

Filmmaker and journalistStéphanie Bosset, who was on the flight, posted a video on Twitter showing travellers lying on the floor at the airport at 1am after they landed in the UK.

Passengers at Gatwick Airport took to social media to vent this morning, with some branding their experience 'an absolute joke'

On a coach. Amazing. Expect to be home probably at 3am or so. This is Stansted airport at 1am: pic.twitter.com/Z6qnrpmtKi

— Stéphanie Bosset (@39_stephs) June 30, 2022

There is set to be more disruption later in the summer after British Airways union members working for the company voted in favour of strike action amid an ongoing row over pay.

But Labour peer Lord Woodley, former joint-general secretary of Unite the union, said BA needs to reverse a pandemic pay cut to sort the ongoing airport delays.

He said: 'The recent airport delays are undoubtedly as a direct result of the opportunism employed by BA slashing jobs, pay and conditions during the pandemic.

'And now, unfortunately, we can all see that the chickens are indeed coming home to roost, with many airlines too slow to rehire and (restore) wages that were stolen from staff under the cover of Covid.

'However, I am pleased to tell the House that thanks to my union Unite members, members working for CAE cabin crew have now secured an 18% pay rise, yes an 18% pay rise and a £1,200 summer bonus.'

It was announced that 150 Heathrow-based cabin crew employed by CAE Crewing Service had secured an 18% pay rise, reversing its pandemic cut and even improving on its pre-pandemic rate.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary says UK workers won't plug post-Covid staff shortages blamed for airport chaos

British people do not want to be baggage handlers, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said amid staff shortages and planned strikes at Heathrow Airport.

The low budget airline has been 'completely unaffected' by airport chaos this summer which has seen others British airlines cancel thousands of flights due in part to staff shortages.

In contrast, Mr O'Leary said Ryanair was prepared for the return of pre-Covid levels of travel because it could see the 'recovery coming' and got its staff back to work early.

He also claimed unlike his competitors, his Irish company can take advantage of the European Labour market and not be faced with British workers who do not want to 'pick fruit or work in hospitality, security and baggage handling at airports'.

His comments come as thousands of British Airways staff including cabin crew and engineers have threatened to plunge airports and airlines into yet more chaos during the school holidays.

<!- - ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/de/news/none/article/other/mpu_factbox.html?id=mpu_factbox_3 - ->


Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated: 09/09/2022

Views: 5435

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.