Thousands of airline passengers are facing fresh disruption as widespread flight cancellations continue – with travel agents inundated with calls from customers worried the chaos will carry on and ruin their summer holidays.
The sector is struggling to cope with staff shortages which has seen EasyJet ax at least 35 flights on Tuesday, with gatwick airport the worst affected. Hungarian carrier Wizz Air scrapped at least seven flights due to serve UK airports.
British Airways also canceled 124 Heathrow flights, although the airline said affected passengers were given advance notice.
Diego Garcia Rodriguez, 32, a Spanish national who lives in Brighton, said passengers at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday were left in tears due to last-minute cancellations.
Meanwhile, members of the Unite and GMB unions are being tossed about in a dispute over pay which could cause chaos at the UK’s busiest airport during the summer holiday period.
Rail strike: When will it start and which trains will be affected?
After members of the RMT rail union voted 8:1 in favor of strike action over jobs, pay and conditions, their union has called nationwide rail strikes for three dates in late June.
Union members at Network Rail and 13 train operators will stage 24-hour walkouts on 21, 23 and 25 June.
What could the effect be? And are other disputes on the horizon?
Here is Simon Calder with the key questions and answers:
Emily AtkinsonJune 7, 2022 10:50 p.m.
Rail strikes ‘incredibly disappointing’, says Shapps
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has described the planned rail strike action as “incredibly disappointing”, warning it could “drive passengers away from the rail network for good.”
He said: “The pandemic has changed travel habits – with 25 per cent fewer ticket sales and the taxpayer stepping in to keep the railways running at a cost of £16 billion, equivalent to £600 per household. We must act now to put the industry on a sustainable footing.
“We are working with industry to reduce disruption caused by strike action, but unions are jumping the gun by announcing this when talks have only just begun.
“We once again want to urge the unions to come to talks with the rail industry so we can work together to build a better, more modern, passenger-focused railway.”
Emily AtkinsonJune 7, 2022 9:50 p.m.
Three days of rail strikes across UK announced for late June
Rail strikes have been announced for three dates in late June after workers voted in favor of industrial action.
According to the RMT, it will be “the biggest dispute on the network since 1989” and involve 40,000 workers. The union’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, has vowed “a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system”.
Helen Coffey and Simon Calder have the details:
Emily AtkinsonJun 7, 2022 8:50 p.m.
Tube travel strikes to hit Glastonbury festival-goers
The rail and Tube strikes will cause travel chaos for people going to a number of events, including concerts, test match cricket and the Glastonbury festival.
Services are likely to be affected throughout the week because of the knock-on impact on trains and crews.
Glastonbury starts on 22 June and runs until 26 June, with many festivalgoers planning to travel to the site by train.
Other events that week include England playing New Zealand in a test match in Leeds, the British athletics championships in Manchester, and gigs in London’s Hyde Park by Elton John (24 June) and the Rolling Stones (25 June).
There will also be a Commonwealth Heads of government meeting in London on 24/25 June and it is Armed Forces Day on 25 June.
With additional reporting from PA
Emily AtkinsonJune 7, 2022, 6:48 p.m.
Second 24-hour Tube strike to coincide with rail strike
Another 24-hour strike on the London Underground has been announced – after widespread industrial action yesterday brought the network to a halt.
Workers who are members of the RMT union will take industrial action on Tuesday 21 June over jobs and pensions.
The Tube strike will coincide with a series of rail strikes that are scheduled for 21, 23, and 25 June.
The union said the strike over pay freezes and job cuts will be the biggest on the railways since 1989.
Lamiat SabinJune 7, 2022 5:40 p.m.
Strike action could disrupt travel to and from Italy
Holidaymakers preparing to travel to and from Italy tomorrow are advised to double-check the status of their flight as possible strike action could disrupt their plans.
Easyjet has reported on its website that multiple strike actions in Italy could be taken on Wednesday 8 June.
Flight crew from Easyjet, Ryanair, and Volotea will strike in response to “long-lasting personnel issues,” the English-language Italian news site The Local reported.
They are set to walk-out between 10am and 2pm, it also reported.
Easyjet says on its website: “Like all airlines operating to and from Italy, we may see some disruption to our flying program on this date.
“We advise customers due to travel to, from or within Italy on 8 June to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker on our mobile app or website at www.easyjet.com/(Your flight number).
“Although this is outside of our control, we would like to reassure customers that we are doing all possible to minimize any disruption that may occur as a result of the strike action.”
Lamiat SabinJune 7, 2022, 5:10 p.m.
Rail workers to strike on three days in June
Industrial action is set to disrupt rail services later this month.
The month of June has already seen mass travel chaos with a London-wide Tube strike yesterday, and flights being canceled over a number of days across the UK due to airline technical difficulties and staff shortages.
Now, rail workers who are members of RMT union are scheduled to go on strike on Tuesday 21st, Thursday 23rd, and Saturday 25th June.
The strike is set to be widespread as it would include workers at Network Rail and 14 other operators.
Train drivers will not be involved in this industrial action, as they are represented by the union Aslef.
Read the developing story here:
Lamiat SabinJune 7, 2022, 4:36 p.m.
Will the travel chaos be over in time for our summer break?
Our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, answered questions from worried holidaymakers eager to know whether ongoing disruptions will continue into the summer.
Read the responses below:
Thomas KingsleyJune 7, 2022, 3:49 p.m.
Watch: South Africans express outrage after Ryanair asks passengers to do Afrikaans test
South Africans express outrage after Ryanair asks passengers to do Afrikaans test
Thomas KingsleyJune 7, 2022 2:58 p.m.
Virgin Atlantic loosens staff restrictions on tattoos
Virgin Atlantic has loosened restrictions on tattoos amid shortages causing travel chaos across the UK.
Previously, Virgin Atlantic staff were not allowed to have visible tattoos, however the airline has announced it is now changing this policy.
“Virgin Atlantic’s chief people officer, Estelle Hollingsworth, said restrictions were being relaxed ‘in line with our focus on inclusion and championing individuality.’
She added: “At Virgin Atlantic, we want everyone to be themselves and know that they belong. Many people use tattoos to express their unique identities and our customer-facing and uniformed colleagues should not be excluded from doing so if they choose.”
The change may increase applications for steward and baggage collection jobs that are in high supply.
Thomas KingsleyJune 7, 2022 2:25 p.m.