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Airport hell, security chaos… must you stay put or fly? The Holiday Guru answers your questions


The Holiday Guru is all the time available to reply your questions.

Here, he addresses the recent travel chaos in European airports, explaining why so many flights have been cancelled by airlines and informing readers on their rights if their very own holiday has been disrupted – or called off altogether.

Q. Is my summer holiday going to occur? This recent airport chaos doesn’t bode well.

The Holiday Guru answers readers’ queries about travelling this summer, amidst flight cancellations and large queues in airports across the UK

A. You are right to be concerned. Alarm bells are ringing, with flights being cancelled willy-nilly by BA (along with the 16,000 it cancelled between March and October), easyJet and TUI. The last of those is axing 43 flights per week this month from Manchester, affecting as much as 37,000 travellers. Meanwhile, airport understaffing is causing dreadful queues. Yet perhaps there are reasons to be hopeful.

Staff are desperately being recruited for the summer — and industry insiders claim that the Easter and Platinum Jubilee bank holidays simply got here too soon after travel restrictions led to March. Latest background checks and talk of higher pay could help. We have now our fingers crossed.

Q. That sounds a bit iffy — are you able to offer any further reassurance?

A. Yes, there may be the underside line to contemplate. Last-minute cancellations cost airlines and tour operators vast amounts of cash in compensation and lost revenue. They can’t afford this in the long run and are under huge pressure to deliver.

Flights are ‘being cancelled willy-nilly by BA, easyJet and TUI’, says the Holiday Guru

Q. Why are they cancelling flights, then, in the event that they lose a lot money from doing so?

A. Partly due to the sudden unleashing of wanderlust because the lifting of travel restrictions in March. For instance, between Thursday and Sunday this week, flights trebled 12 months on 12 months — and that number would have been even greater if airlines and tour operators could have kept up. Letting go of so many employees during Covid has badly backfired — many have since found jobs in other industries.

Q. When can we expect the situation to enhance for travellers?

A. Hopefully by July — but it surely won’t be anything like pre-pandemic levels. Airlines and tour operators see little point in pushing ahead with services only to should cancel on the last minute.

According to the Holiday Guru, the situation for travellers will hopefully improve by July

In accordance with the Holiday Guru, the situation for travellers will hopefully improve by July 

Q. Does that mean these firms are more likely to proceed cancelling holidays prematurely?

A. Possibly. What TUI is doing with its package holidays from Manchester this month is a nasty sign. BA and easyJet are also making many advance cancellations.

Q. What are my rights if my holiday is eventually cancelled?

A. With package holidays you might be due a full refund paid inside 14 days of the announcement of the cancellation. With airline cancellations announced greater than two weeks before your flight, the carrier is required by law to seek out another flight as near the unique one as possible — potentially with one other airline.

Q. What if my flight is cancelled just before we go?

A. Your airline has an obligation to get you on the subsequent flight to your destination. You’re also due compensation when a flight is cancelled inside 14 days of travel. In case your flight is lower than 1,500 km, that is £220, rising to £520 for long haul. So you need to get to your destination and receive money back.

The Guru says that if your flight is cancelled just before you travel, your airline has a duty to get you on the next flight to your destination

The Guru says that in case your flight is cancelled just before you travel, your airline has an obligation to get you on the subsequent flight to your destination

Q. If the subsequent available flight isn’t until the next day, will accommodation be provided?

A. Yes, the airline must provide accommodation of a three-star standard and food. Keep your receipts.

Q. Are airports really recruiting enough people to deal with the surge in demand over the summer?

A. Not currently. Major airports have 80 per cent to 90 per cent of staff required for the summer, and at smaller airports it’s more like 70 per cent. Recruitment drives are on and only time will tell in the event that they work.

The Guru recommends arriving at the airport three hours in advance of your flight

 The Guru recommends arriving on the airport three hours prematurely of your flight

Q. Does this mean we want to permit for more time at airports before flights?

A. Arrive three hours prematurely of your flight, but not earlier as this may just make things worse.

Q. What happens if we find yourself missing a flight due to all of the airport delays?

A. You’ll struggle to get a refund out of your airline, the airport or travel insurance. So don’t cut it tremendous.

'Expect plenty of bumps along the way this summer,' the Guru warns, adding that travellers should manage their expectations when it comes to holidays abroad

‘Expect loads of bumps along the best way this summer,’ the Guru warns, adding that travellers should manage their expectations relating to holidays abroad 

Q. Some other travel advice that may help travellers this summer?

A. Yes: manage your expectations. Travel is just not back on top of things yet. Long queues formed at Eurostar’s London terminal this week, meanwhile, confidence in P&O Ferries has plummeted after its mass sackings in March. Expect loads of bumps along the best way this summer.


In case you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to reply your questions. Email us at holidayplanner@dailymail.co.uk.

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