London travelers face double whammy of strikes and canceled flights

London travelers face double whammy of strikes and canceled flights

Buses at London airports are operating at “full capacity” as passengers struggle to find alternative routes amid train and tube strikes and ongoing flight cancellations.

National Express said its services at Gatwick and Stansted airports were very busy on Tuesday, with most buses running at full capacity.

“Departing passengers are aware of the disruption and have planned accordingly. Incoming passengers are being supported by airports,” a spokesperson for National Express told the Standard.

“We recommend that customers book in advance and allow plenty of time when planning their journey.”

Meanwhile, at least 24 flights were labeled as canceled to and from Gatwick Airport on Tuesday, including 18 from EasyJet to popular destinations like Barcelona, ​​Athens, Ibiza, Belfast City and Edinburgh.

The airport remains busy but without “significant issues”, a spokesperson told Standard.

Seven matches were canceled on Tuesday out of a total of 367, the spokesman said.

About 10 trains are scheduled to leave the airport every hour from 7 am to 5:30 pm.

Passengers are being urged to rent a car, pre-book a parking space or book a bus or taxi.

National Express is operating services from Gatwick and Stansted airports (National Express)

National Express is operating services from Gatwick and Stansted airports (National Express)

A passenger at Gatwick airport on Tuesday morning reported “horrible” lines at security.

They wrote on Twitter: “EasyJet speedy bag drop no lines. Horrible looking queue for security snaking back to Emirates check-in. Wait at least 90 minutes. Real time 50 minutes.”

Stansted Airport was approached for comment. He said passengers are “well aware” of the rail strikes.

Two trains per hour will operate on the “extremely limited” Stansted Express service, with the exception of one train per hour on June 23.

There were no reports of problems at Heathrow airport on Tuesday morning, but the airport warned of “extremely busy” trains.

He warned passengers: “There will be very limited service from the Heathrow Express and Elizabeth Line, running from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm every 30 minutes.

“However, these trains are expected to be extremely busy. The roads around Heathrow will also be busier than usual on these days, so allow extra time for your journey.”

Heathrow asked airlines on Monday to cut flights at two terminals by 10%, while easyJet began canceling thousands of summer flights.

The Heathrow move affected around 5,000 passengers in Terminals 2 and 3 on approximately 30 flights.

Images emerged on Friday of a massive backlog of passenger baggage to add to passengers’ problems with delays and canceled flights.

Passenger Baggage Lines Arranged at Heathrow Airport (REUTERS)

Passenger Baggage Lines Arranged at Heathrow Airport (REUTERS)

Meanwhile, the head of budget airline Ryanair has warned that flight delays and cancellations will continue “throughout the summer” as airports suffer from staff shortages.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said passengers should prepare for a “less than satisfactory experience”, with flight delays during peak season and some airlines canceling between 5 and 10 percent of flights.

He told Sky News that this was “deeply regretful”.

He said: “This problem will continue particularly at airports like Gatwick and Heathrow throughout the summer.

“It will be worse on the weekends and better during the week.”

He said 99% of Ryanair flights are leaving and the experience was much better at his base in Stansted than at other UK airports, but admitted it will be a “struggle over the summer”.

O’Leary attributed the problems to the airport’s lack of staff in air traffic control, baggage handling and security.

He said Ryanair was not immune to the problems, with last weekend seeing 25% of its flights delayed by air traffic control issues and a further 15% by airports dealing with delays.

He said Brexit was exacerbating the disruption caused by increased demand following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, with airports unable to hire workers from abroad to fill the positions.

He said: “There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK that, frankly, British workers don’t want to do.

“These issues will not be resolved until we start letting people do the jobs.”

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