Expect delays. (Photo: JEROEN JUMELET via Getty Images)
So you are trying to travel right now. If you’ve been on social media and seen the news, you know it’s chaos right now.
Long queues, flight delays and baggage problems have plagued British airports of late as weekends and platinum jubilee bank holidays have boosted the number of people hoping to travel abroad.
There are also continuing delays in issuing passports, causing plans to collapse.
So, here’s what you need to know about travel right now, including how to claim your flight compensation if you’re delayed or your flight is cancelled.
What happens at airports?
Tui has just announced the cancellation of six flights a day until the end of June due to the ongoing shortage of staff at Manchester Airport.
EasyJet canceled 240 flights over the weekend and with more cancellations expected, you can imagine the havoc this is causing. Those traveling from Gatwick to Belfast were told at 4 a.m. on Tuesday that their trip would not take place. The flight from Bristol to Amsterdam at 5am was canceled at 2am.
British Airways has also canceled several flights.
What is behind the delays and cancellations?
Flights do increase during school and public holidays, but with the lifting of Covid restrictions on many destinations and people’s desire to travel, demand has been too high for post-lockdown systems to handle.
Airlines are understaffed and are struggling to hire more.
In some cases, such as the recent TUI flight from Manchester to Heraklion, there were not enough staff to load luggage. Even though the flight was close to takeoff, the bags weren’t loaded fast enough. One flight attendant even decided to get off to help load the suitcases.
Demand is also fueled by people using coupons and credits accumulated from previously canceled trips. It is also the first half term holiday since the lifting of all restrictions in England and Wales.
What happens to passports?
The passport crisis continues, fueled by overwhelming demand for renewal applications after five million people were delayed during the pandemic.
Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted, millions of people are rushing to update their documents but are facing long waits for them to be returned.
If earlier it took three weeks to get a new passport, then the waiting time has increased to 10 weeks. However, not everyone receives them during this time period – some reports wait for months to arrive.
Post-Brexit travel rules, which require Britons to have at least three months left before their passport expires, also complicate the process.
So if you’re planning to leave in the next few months, make sure your passport is valid – in rare cases, applications can be expedited.
How to get money if your flight is delayed
According to Citizen’s Advice, if your