Travelers in London face strikes and canceled flights

Travelers in London face strikes and canceled flights

Coaches at London airports are “busting to capacity” as passengers seek alternative routes amid rail and tube strikes and ongoing flight cancellations.

National Express said Gatwick and Stansted airport services were very busy on Tuesday, with most buses running at full capacity.

“Outbound passengers are aware of the disruption and have planned accordingly. Arriving passengers will be assisted by the airports,” a spokesman for National Express told the Standard.

“We encourage our customers to book in advance and allow plenty of time to plan their trip.”

Meanwhile, at least 24 flights to and from Gatwick Airport had been marked as canceled on Tuesday, including 18 operated by EasyJet to popular destinations including Barcelona, ​​Athens, Ibiza, Belfast City and Edinburgh.

The airport remains busy but without “significant problems,” a spokesman told the Standard.

Seven of a total of 367 departures were canceled on Tuesday, the spokesman said.

About 10 trains are scheduled to leave the airport every hour from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Passengers are urged to rent a car, book parking in advance, or book a bus or taxi.

National Express operates services from Gatwick and Stansted Airports (National Express)

National Express operates services from Gatwick and Stansted Airports (National Express)

A passenger at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday morning reported “terrible looking” queues at security.

They wrote on Twitter: “Quick bag drop at EasyJet, no queues. Terrible looking security line snaking its way back to Emirates check in. Expected waiting time of at least 90 minutes. Actual time 50 minutes.”

Stansted Airport has been asked for comment. It was said that passengers were “well aware” of the rail strikes.

Two trains per hour will operate on the “extremely restricted” Stansted Express service, with the exception of one train per hour on 23 June.

There were no reports of problems at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday morning, but the airport warned of “extremely crowded” trains.

It warned passengers: “There will be very limited Heathrow Express and Elizabeth Line service, running every 30 minutes from 07.30am to 18.30pm.

“However, it is expected that these trains will be very crowded. The roads around Heathrow will also be busier than normal on these days so please allow more time for your journey.”

Heathrow on Monday told airlines to cut 10 per cent of flights at two terminals, while easyJet began canceling thousands of summer flights.

The move from Heathrow affected around 5,000 passengers at Terminals 2 and 3 on around 30 flights.

Images of a huge pile of passenger luggage emerged on Friday, adding to passengers’ problems with delays and canceled flights.

Rows of passenger luggage arranged at Heathrow Airport (REUTERS)

Rows of passenger luggage arranged at Heathrow Airport (REUTERS)

Meanwhile, the boss of low-cost airline Ryanair has warned flight delays and cancellations will continue “all summer” as airports suffer staff shortages.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said passengers should prepare for a “less than satisfactory experience” as flight delays persist through the peak season and some airlines cancel between 5 and 10 per cent of flights.

He told Sky News it was “deeply regrettable”.

He said: “This problem will continue throughout the summer, particularly at airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow.

“It gets worse on weekends and better during the week.”

He said 99 per cent of Ryanair flights are getting away and that the experience at the Stansted base has so far been better than at other UK airports, but conceded it will be a “struggle through the summer”.

Mr O’Leary blamed the problems on the lack of airport staff in air traffic control, baggage handlers and security.

He said Ryanair is not immune to the problems, as last weekend 25 per cent of its flights were delayed due to problems with air traffic control and another 15 per cent were delayed by airports.

He said Brexit amplified the disruptions being caused by rising demand after the pandemic restrictions were lifted, as airports could not hire workers from abroad to fill vacancies.

He said: “There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK that British workers frankly do not want to do.

“These problems won’t be solved until we start letting people do the work.”

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