Easter getaway chaos: easyJet & BA cancellations, ferry delays, airport queues

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Easter getaway chaos: easyJet & BA cancellations, ferry delays, airport queues

EasyJet has cancelled a further 62 flights from the UK today as it struggles to cope with staff shortages.

British Airways has also axed more services up to the end of May, saying it needs to ‘build more resilience into our operation to manage staff sickness and our remaining outstanding vacancies in order to provide a consistent service for customers’.

The cancellations follow a weekend of travel chaos across the UK as families trying to depart on Easter holidays faced horrendous delays, especially at Manchester Airport and Dover.

Security queues were so long at Manchester Airport on Saturday that even passengers who arrived more than three hours before departure missed their flights.

And those arriving for ferry crossings at Dover were left queuing for more than nine hours as P&O Ferries’ services remained cancelled and rival DFDS has two ferries out of operation until tomorrow.

Passengers travelling from London Heathrow Airport also experienced longer wait times at the weekend, which the airport blamed on additional document checks required by some destinations. However, passengers also reported staff shortages and e-gate issues.

Easyjet blamed ‘higher than usual’ levels of staff absence due to COVID for today’s further cancellations.

The airline has tried to offset the problem by using standby crew, it says, but it has still been forced to make some cancellations in advance.

In total, it has cancelled around 100 of today’s planned flights across Europe, including 62 from the UK.

BA said it is continuing to operate ‘the vast majority of its flights’ but added: “As a precaution we’ve slightly reduced our schedule between now and the end of May as we ramp back up.

“We’ve apologised to customers who are affected by this and to limit the inconvenience have re-booked them onto earlier or later flights on the same day they were originally due to travel where possible.

“We’re also offering them the opportunity to book onto an alternative flight or request a full refund.”

EasyJet said a ‘small number’ of package holiday customers have been affected, adding that it is ‘working hard to find them the next available flight so their holiday can continue as planned’.  

“We’re really sorry to our customers who have experienced disruption to their holiday plans and we’d like to thank them for their ongoing patience,” it added.

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