Brits stranded in Europe as hundreds of flights cancelled

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A chaotic combination of staff shortages, air-traffic control restrictions and a Luton Airport power failure led to well over 80 Sunday cancellations, with more than 100 grounded on Saturday alone. Many anxious British holidaymakers and families are stuck at foreign airports as a result.

EasyJet said it axed about 80 flights on Sunday “due to the ongoing challenging operating environment”, hitting over 12,000 people.

There have also been cancellations to Wizz Air, Vueling and British Airways flights.

Alexander Coombs, one holidaymaker affected, fumed: “I have received a text saying my flight has been cancelled from Berlin to Bristol today so I am now stranded in Berlin. I cannot get hold of anyone to help me from easyJet. The next flight is Thursday.”

Kam Hosseini was stuck in Faro, Portugal, after his Saturday evening Wizz Air flight to Cardiff was grounded “minutes before check in by text message”.

He said: “No representative from the airline at the airport, just given a piece of paper and told the next flights to the UK we can get on are Wednesday onwards.

“Stuck in Faro and no sign of any flights anytime soon.”

Sundays’s easyJet cancellations come after Gatwick Airport saw 25 departures and 22 arrivals axed on Saturday.

Easyjet said: “We are very sorry and fully understand the disruption this will have caused for our customers. We are focused on getting them to their destination as soon as possible.”

All stricken passengers are entitled to: alternative flights, including on a rival airline; a hotel room until they can travel; and, if the airline is to blame, compensation.

EasyJet said it had extended its customer service hours, and was helping those affected find hotel accommodation where required. At Bristol, at least a dozen easyJet flights were axed. Most passengers received just a few hours’ notice.

Meanwhile about 3,000 passengers bound for Luton on Sunday were diverted to other airports as a temporary power cut affected air traffic control systems.

Legal expert Lisa Webb, of consumer rights group Which?, said: “These shameful scenes are the result of an industry in which some airlines feel they can get away with ignoring consumer rights and acting with near impunity. Passenger rights need strengthened.

“The Government must drop plans to cut compensation. The Civil Aviation Authority must be given the power to issue direct fines to hold airlines to account.”

Meanwhile, Paris to London travellers were left “tired, frustrated and defeated” after overhead power supply problems led to the cancellation of several Eurostar trains.

Those heading to the UK waited at Gare du Nord station for more than eight hours. Eurostar said services should run as normal tomorrow.

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