Travel News

Flight cancellations and long delays at UK airports mar start to peak weekend

Simon Calder’s Travel

On the busiest day of the year for air traffic in Europe, thousands of passengers are enduring long delays – with some easyJet passengers at London Gatwick and Manchester learning their flights were cancelled only hours before they were due to depart to Continental Europe and the Mediterranean.

Many flights were grounded on Thursday, including at least a dozen easyJet links to and from Liverpool John Lennon airport.

EasyJet has so far grounded at least 10 flights to and from the UK. Passengers to Palma from both Manchester and Gatwick were told in each case “a technical issue with the aircraft could not be resolved”.

Flight cancellations from Manchester to both Amsterdam and Paris were blamed on “adverse weather conditions in Berlin”. A number of departures from the German capital were grounded on Thursday evening.

No reason was given by easyJet for the Gatwick-Naples cancellation.

The corresponding five inbound flights are also grounded.

In all cases it appears that passengers were notified between 3am and 4am – by which time they were at, or travelling to, the airport.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “Due to the impact of air-traffic control restrictions in place across Europe for much of yesterday, like all airlines operating across European airspace, some of our flights were unable to operate with some knock-on impact on today’s operation due to aircraft being out of base.

“We have been doing everything possible to minimise the impact for our customers, providing hotel accommodation and meals as well as a refund or a transfer to an alternative flight and are advising customers they will be reimbursed for expenses should they need to make their own arrangements.

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers is our highest priority and while this is outside of our control, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused.”

Under air passengers’ rights rules passengers are entitled to be flown to their destination today, but the final Friday in June is always one of the busiest days of the year for travel and finding seats on any airline will be challenging.

For many Wizz Air passengers, the problem is extreme delays.

Nearly 200 Wizz Air passengers who were due to fly home from Sicily to Gatwick on Wednesday finally took off on Friday morning after a technical delay.

Among the passengers on Wizz Air flight 5794 from Catania was…

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