Travellers have been warned chaos at airports will continue after passengers complained of ‘nightmare’ waits of up to seven hours blighting half-term getaways.
In Manchester, passengers were delayed ‘waiting for a pilot’ for up to eight hours before finding out via text their flight had been cancelled.
Meanwhile at Dublin Airport, travellers took to ‘yodelling and singing’ this morning to pass the time in huge queues.
And at Stanstead Airport, passengers were pictured sleeping overnight on the floor.
Staff shortages are leading to queues as air travel bounces back from the Covid shutdown — with UK departures passing 10,000 between Thursday and yesterday, triple the total a year ago.
EasyJet blamed a software failure for a wave of cancellations that left some of its passengers stranded overseas at the weekend.
And it is axing more than 200 further flights from Gatwick — 24 a day until next Monday — over issues including baggage handling delays, runway works and air traffic control restrictions.
‘We are sorry for the late notice of some of cancellations and inconvenience caused for customers. However, we believe this is necessary to provide reliable services over this busy period,’ a company spokesman said.
Tui also cancelled flights as thousands of families faced long queues at Manchester, Stansted and Bristol airports.
There are already long queues at Bristol Airport again this morning, and a number of people have taken to social media to complain.
One person wrote: ‘@easyJet what are you paying for at @BristolAirport. Only half the security lanes open and not FastTrack. 2 hrs to get through. Queues started 300m on road outside.’
Another said: ‘Queue to get in the terminal at 5:15 at @BristolAirport. At least the sky is pretty’.
Similar disruption took place across the weekend.
Passenger Rob Scott posted online: ‘Carnage at Manchester. Terminal two rammed with people. Big delays setting off due to luggage not being loaded due to staff shortages.’
Nicola Caine, 37, of Cheshire, said her family’s flight to Tenerife had been cancelled from Manchester and then again at Gatwick, leading to them being forced to sleep on an airport floor.
‘We’ve been treated like animals. It’s been one problem after another. I would never fly with easyJet again,’ she added.
Meanwhile, Michelle Farmer, 56, said her and daughter Madeleine’s Tui flight from Bristol to Naples was cancelled with less than an hour’s notice.
‘We’ve been sent through baggage collection with luggage thrown on the floor, now standing outside airport. No help. Poor on every level,’ she tweeted.
Tui said the cancellation was ‘due to a combination of factors’ and added: ‘We are doing all we can to keep customers updated.’
In Dublin, bosses last night warned of ‘significant queues’ and said that some passengers could miss flights as 50,000 were due to pass through over the next 24 hours.
This morning, video emerged of delayed travellers singing and yodelling in a long queue for Lufthansa flights.
Over the weekend, the airport was described as ‘total bedlam’ as people missed their flights due to massive queues.
There were even ‘scuffles’ as passengers panicked about the length of time they were waiting.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) apologised to customers and promised no-one will be left ‘out of pocket.’
With further delays for air travel predicted, similar chaos on roads also looks likely.
Drivers have been warned to expect long waits on popular routes during the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday period.
The RAC estimate 19.5 million leisure trips by road will take place between Wednesday and Sunday.