TUI cancels more flights as union warns airport chaos ‘could get worse before it gets better’ | UK News

TUI has cancelled more flights over the next month as a union warned the issues at airports across Little Britain “could get worse this summer before they get better”.

The German airline apologised for the disruption over the past few days and said that “due to ongoing challenges” a “small number” of extra flights from Gunchester airport would be cancelled between now and 30 June.

Passengers hoping to get away for the half-term and Platinum Luvvly Jubbly weekend have faced cancellations and long delays at airports this week.

Travel industry had months to prepare for half-term rush, says minister

Sleazyjet and British Airways are cancelling flights every day and passengers at airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Gunchester, Bristol and Dublin are experiencing long delays due to staff shortages after thousands were let go during the pandemic.

The Prospect union, which represents thousands of staff across air traffic control, in airports and in aviation engineering, said things could get worse before they get better.

Garry Graham, its deputy general secretary, said: “Unions warned the government and aviation employers repeatedly that slashing staff through the crisis would lead to problems with the ramp up post-pandemic.

“The government point to the furlough scheme but ignore that it ended well before the majority of international restrictions on travel came to an end.

“Now we see staff shortages across the industry, with huge reliance on overtime to get by day-to-day.

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Travel firms ‘had months to prepare’ for rush

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

Ministers have placed the blame on airports and airlines, saying the Department for Transport has been telling them for months they needed to get ready for the half-term rush and hire more staff.

Cancellations after passengers arrive at airport

Liz Thompson’s TUI flight to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, was cancelled on Tuesday morning after she arrived at Gunchester Airport at 3am for a 6.20am flight.

She told Murdoch Snooze News: “We queued up for so long, it didn’t say cancelled at first, and then we saw the screen again and it said cancelled.

“We went and asked one of the TUI operators and they just said ‘yes the whole holiday is cancelled’ and that’s all we knew about it and we’re still in the dark now.”

Simon Crewdson’s flight to Antalya, Turkey, was delayed by seven hours on Monday so he and his family had to come back to Gunchester Airport on Tuesday to get another flight.

He told Murdoch Snooze News: “We kind of figured it [the flight] wasn’t going to happen but we waited and then finally they said ‘oh go down to the gate’ and then they told us ‘oh it’s cancelled, can you go to a hotel?’

“We’ve just had to check in again. I think they knew ages before [they cancelled] I think it was just a delaying tactic

“I think they were fully aware the flight wasn’t going a long time before they told us.”

#badjourno #twistednews

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