Travel chaos: Expert exposes airports’ lack of planning

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Frustration among travellers is growing at airports across the UK as long queues and travel disruptions are causing delays and cancellations. Airlines like BA, Easy Jet, Tui, and Vueling have had to make cancellations. According to travel experts, a major cause for disruption is the lack of staff despite the furlough support provided over the pandemic to keep staff on. Rory Boland, Travel Editor of the consumer rights organisation Which?, also points fingers at the airport for their lack of preparedness ahead of the high season.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Boland said: “I think it was always going to be a bumpy return to travel.

“So, you can allow for that.

“But nobody would’ve expected the trouble we are seeing at the moment.

“It is clear that with some airlines, some airports, they haven’t planned for this.

“So, they got rid of too many staff.

“I think what’s more worrying is, these are not easy things to fix. We are likely to be in for a very difficult period this week of disruption.”

Mr Boland continued: “The summer doesn’t look great either, because getting staff in, well it’s not really doable.

“Not only are we seeing a shortage of staff in many industries across the UK but lots of these jobs, they require training.

“Some, they require security clearance as well. So, you can’t just wave a magic wand and get those staff in.

“There should’ve been a better planning in place, particularly with those airlines where we’re seeing the worst disruption.”

After listening to the viewers’ experiences missing flights for special occasions, Mr Boland said: “The stories are so heart-breaking.

“Lots of people have waited a very long time to go away.”

“It is quite bad news when it comes to airport queues”, Mr Boland regretted.

“They fall into a bit of a consumer right black hole.

“Because it’s not the airline’s fault that you haven’t been able to get on board the plane if it’s airport security queues.

“There is in theory the idea of challenging the airport over something called ‘frustrated contracts.’”

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“But unfortunately, that would almost certainly require going to court.

“So, I’m very sorry to say at the moment, there is no immediate route for compensation on this.

“It is worth looking at travel insurance.

“Some travel insurance may cover missed departure due to these queues.”

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