Through a combination of desperate delays and security threats, British airports are due to be overrun by tens of thousands of holiday makers over the next couple of weeks. One in ten passengers flying to the UK at the moment is British, according to the Office of National Statistics, but with the summer holidays approaching, airport staff are bracing themselves for what has been described as “total chaos”.
It’s summertime and that means it’s time for vacations – for all of us. While some people will just be going away for a short period of time, others will be flying off to countries far far away. With the summer holidays, people are looking to travel, and with the recent terror attacks in Europe, many are wondering if they will be safe. As I’ve said before, I’m a naturally cautious person. That said, there are a lot of things that can happen to us in everyday life that we can’t control. With that in mind, I’ve decided to take a more inward look at our world and think about how it’s changed.
Other passengers reported events as “chaotic” (photo: SWNS/PA).
As hundreds of thousands of people go for their summer vacations, passengers have complained of “absolute pandemonium” at airports throughout the UK.
Heathrow expects to welcome about 128,000 people on Saturday and Sunday, making it the biggest weekend of the year for airports and airlines.
Extra personnel will be on board, according to chief executive John Holland-Kaye, to ensure customers had a “smooth trip.”
However, Fiona Brett, a violinist with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, claimed she had to wait two hours to board her aircraft to Frankfurt on Saturday morning.
Ms Brett, from Watlington, Oxfordshire, claimed she checked in online but had to present her Covid vaccination certificate to staff, causing her 9.30 a.m. flight to be delayed due to the “complete pandemonium.”
‘They were continuously calling people out of the line for the next aircraft that was about to leave,’ she claimed.
‘It would have been preferable to arrive at 8.30 a.m. and be summoned from the end of the line to the front – complete pandemonium.’
‘When I eventually checked in (15 minutes after the aircraft was supposed to depart), the security lines were non-existent, and there was almost no one airside in the terminal.
‘I think the lineups were created by the airlines having to do all of the additional procedures before properly checking in, not by too many passengers.’
On Saturday, there were long lines at Heathrow Airport (Picture: PA)
Other travelers went to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the lines at London Stansted, with one calling the situation “chaotic.”
‘@Ryanair absolutely terrible circumstances at Stanstead Airport with complete absence of personnel on the ground, lines of lost passengers, and chaotic scenes,’ wrote Twitter user Dr Robert Baunsbak Coull. #covid19 #superspreader
Lily McMyn, another Twitter user, shared pictures of throngs of people with the caption: ‘@STN Airport awful, mayhem, and bedlam.’
From Friday to Monday, London Stansted expects 1,330 flights, while Manchester Airport expects 958 and East Midlands Airport expects 224.
This is up from 735, 632, and 177 over the same weekend the previous year.
Meanwhile, Gatwick Airport anticipates 250 to 260 flights and 25,000 to 27,000 people each day during the weekend, up from a low of just 15 flights per day during the pandemic’s peak.
@Ryanair, the circumstances at Stanstead Airport are very unacceptable, with a complete lack of personnel on the ground, long lines of lost passengers, and chaotic situations. #covid19 #superspreader pic.twitter.com/lWVRlvAHa7
— Dr. Robert Baunsbak Coull° ó ó ó 3ó £ó ó ó ()’TM (@DrRCoull) 24th of July, 2021
‘Our passengers may now select from over 100 locations in over 30 countries, so we’re anticipating our busiest weekend of the year so far,’ a spokesperson said.
‘We will handle around 250 people each day, with Spain and Greece being especially popular.’
EasyJet said it expects to transport more than 135,000 passengers from the UK this weekend on over 80 flights to locations on the green and amber lists throughout Europe.
There will be a total of 251 easyJet flights, including popular destinations such as Malta, Madeira, and Malaga in Spain, Faro and Lisbon in Portugal, and Corfu and Athens in Greece, according to the airline.
Further reading: Coronavirus
‘With schools out for the summer, this weekend is the busiest weekend so far this year, and we are looking forward to bringing as many people as we can on that long-awaited and well-deserved vacation, or to reunite them with their loved ones,’ said Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK national manager.
The Balearics and Greece are the “obvious favorites,” with Palma, Ibiza, and Rhodes being the most popular locations, according to Tui.
Jet2 said it would operate 170 flights to more than 40 locations this weekend, up from about 70 to six the previous weekend.
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