Travel chaos not down to us, says airlines boss

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Millions of passengers have faced last-minute heartbreak this year with 17,000 flights cancelled less than 72 hours before departure.

Long queues and axed flights caused by staff shortages are set to worsen as schools begin to break this week.

But Airlines UK, the body which represents carriers, told tonight’s BBC Panorama the chaos was not the result of poor planning or decision-making.

Rob Griggs, policy and public affairs director, said: “I don’t think there were wrong decisions made.”

“Of course, operationally on the day, different things perhaps could be done in different places.”

Some in the industry blame Brexit for making staff shortages worse, something the Government rejects.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “At the end of the day this is a sector that is privately run, privately owned, privately operated, and it’s for them to get the people they need.”

Meanwhile, EasyJet has launched a helpline for people with children under 12 facing problems at airports.

The service will get them through to dedicated staff to assist families.

Guy Hobbs, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “We have heard from EasyJet passengers who have been treated appallingly by the airline, so steps to improve its customer service are much needed.”

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