UK transport secretary calls out airlines for holiday travel chaos 

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told travel bosses to “do their bit” to resolve the problems causing chaos at airports over the recent school holidays.

Grant Shapps said “resourcing strains on the aviation sector” are no excuse for poor planning and overbooking flights.

He said lengthy queues and flight cancellations that have ruined many Britons’ holidays were “heartbreaking.” Over 150 flights were cancelled by British Airways and easyJet on Wednesday, with hundreds axed by airlines in the past week. There are fears the disruption could increase during the upcoming bank holiday weekend.

Airlines say they have struggled to recruit staff quickly enough to cope with the increasing demand after COVID travel restrictions were lifted, while industry bosses are blaming the government for not helping the sector properly recover from the pandemic.

The Department for Transport said Shapps had a “productive meeting” with senior leaders from the aviation industry yesterday. British Airways, easyJet and TUI Airways were in attendance, along with airports including Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Luton and Newcastle.

Shapps expressed concerns that airline passengers are being unfairly sold tickets for holidays they cannot go on and said he will continue to talk about options that would give passengers automatic refunds. He said companies that have seen the most disruption need to learn from others which have run their services more efficiently.

He said the government has “made the changes needed to allow the sector to prepare for summer, but now we need industry to do their bit,” adding: “We have been crystal clear, run services properly and according to schedule or provide swift, appropriate compensation.”

“We do not want to see a repeat of this over the summer – the first post-COVID summer season – and will be meeting again in the coming weeks to understand the progress that is being made.”

The chief executive of Airlines UK said airlines want to work with ministers to resolve these issues “as quickly as possible.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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