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UK airports are in chaos as staff demands better wages

Thousands of passengers have faced delays, cancellations, and hours of queuing at European airports in recent months, attracting the attention of the media. Videos have been circulating on social media, which have been the source of anxiety for anyone planning to travel around Europe this summer. The UK's airports, in particular, have come under pressure. 

Staff strikes, according to reports, are to blame for the chaos. Given the rise in inflation and high customer demand for the summer season, airline employees have demanded higher pay from the government and private employers. Brexit has also played a role in this chaos, as British travellers are required to present more documentation.

All airports in the United Kingdom have been affected, including those in Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester. However, there have been various issues in each London airport, the busiest have been the worst affected and more problems have been reported due to a lack of staff in the following airports.

Heathrow Airport

On a daily basis, Heathrow receives on average 206,800 passengers between departures and arrivals. It has five terminals and receives flights from all over the world. Naturally, strikes have resulted in long lines at airports and forced many airlines to cancel or reschedule flights.

Recently, British Airways employees at Heathrow have announced their intention to go on strike. They intend to do so for several weeks over the summer school break. Hundreds of employees voted in favour of industrial action citing concerns regarding pay. 

According to the BBC, members of the GMB and Unite unions are striking because a 10% pay cut due to the pandemic was not reversed after the restrictions were lifted. As a result of the cost-of-living crisis, many workers are demanding higher wages and payments. 

Last week, there was a massive luggage disruption at Heathrow's Terminal 2, with videos showing hundreds of suitcases abandoned. These suitcases were waiting for collection.

According to The Guardian, there was a technical malfunction that took some time to fix and for passengers to be reunited with their belongings due to a lack of staff. Many passengers travelled without their luggage, and many had their travel plans disrupted.

Gatwick and Stansted Airports

This is yet another strike that will have an impact on the travel industry in the United Kingdom. Gatwick and Stansted airports have been reported to be struggling to keep flights on schedule. 

EasyJet announced that many flights would be cancelled due to airport disruptions. It has been suggested that they may cancel up to 11,000 flights this summer. They explained that they cannot guarantee how many will be cancelled, but that they will aim to maintain operations at least 90% of the time.

It is hoped they can run over 97% by September.

EasyJet, Tui, Wizz Air, and Vueling all cancelled flights after Gatwick airport announced a daily flight limit of 850. 

Many customers have been advised to reschedule their vacation plans or to keep an eye out for delays days before their flight. It is recommended that you arrive at Stansted five hours before your flight. Passengers have reported waiting in line for more than three hours. However, many other passengers on social media have reported only minor delays and no overly long lines. 

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has stated that the issue will persist throughout the summer and is expected to disrupt winter vacations. The UK government has also stated that these issues will likely not be addressed until at least a year from now.

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Tags: #society #Europe #travel #UnitedKingdom #airport


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