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Passengers Sigh as Heathrow Caps Numbers to Head Off ‘Airmageddon’


She felt sympathy for ground-staff staff, she said, however the experience had only confirmed to her that she and her husband had made the fitting selection to avoid traveling this summer. “Perhaps next yr,” she said. “Definitely not this yr.”

Past the safety lines, which took about an hour at midday on Wednesday, the crowds looked as if it would disperse, though the issues for some passengers didn’t stop there.

“If I can avoid travel and flying, I’ll,” said Eman Martin-Vignerte, who was waiting for a flight from London to Stuttgart, Germany, that already been canceled twice, forcing her to go away and return to the airport. The delays, she said, seemed “like a tsunami.”

“They really want to get the identical level of staff as before Covid,” she said, adding that she hoped the mayhem was temporary.

Even within the travel industry, staff say this summer is remarkable.

“That is first time I’ve seen this case,” said Tobi Kerstan, a pilot for Lufthansa who was traveling to Germany from London. “It’s now not fun to fly,” said Mr. Kerstan, who has flown for 25 years. Asked about Heathrow’s cap on departing passengers, he said he wondered how it could be enforced. “Is anyone counting the people?” he said, gesturing around at other passengers. “I’d say it’s a guess.”

Low pay for ground staff working for airlines was an issue, he said, adding that a standard reason behind flight delays for the time being was the tight timelines for airline staff to board passengers, unload bags, refuel and clean the plane. “You’re making a never-ending problem.”

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