Holidaymakers have experienced travel chaos over the weekend (Picture: MEN Media/Twitter)

Travellers have been warned chaos at airports will continue after passengers complained of ‘nightmare’ waits of up to seven hours blighting half-term getaways.

In Manchester, passengers were delayed for hours ‘waiting for a pilot’ while there were huge queues outside the terminal at Dublin Airport.

Staff shortages are leading to queues as air travel bounces back from the Covid shutdown — with UK departures passing 10,000 between Thursday and yesterday, triple the total a year ago.

EasyJet blamed a software failure for a wave of cancellations that left some of its passengers stranded overseas at the weekend.

And it is axing more than 200 further flights from Gatwick — 24 a day until next Monday — over issues including baggage handling delays, runway works and air traffic control restrictions.

‘We are sorry for the late notice of some of cancellations and inconvenience caused for customers. However, we believe this is necessary to provide reliable services over this busy period,’ a company spokesman said.

Tui also cancelled flights as thousands of families faced long queues at Manchester, Stansted and Bristol airports.

Passenger Rob Scott posted online: ‘Carnage at Manchester. Terminal two rammed with people. Big delays setting off due to luggage not being loaded due to staff shortages.’

Snaking queues made their way through Manchester Airport over the weekend (Picture: MEN Media)

We’re at Gatwick Airport. EasyJet has cancelled our flight home to Belfast. No flights to Belfast until Tuesday. We suggested booking flights with an alternative carrier but the only one leaving here tonight is Aer Lingus to Dublin and they have said no.😔@easyJet @AerLingus

— Amanda Ferguson (@AmandaFBelfast) May 29, 2022

Passengers were forced to wait outside amid chaos at Dublin Airport (Picture: Colin Keegan)

Nicola Caine, 37, of Cheshire, said her family’s flight to Tenerife had been cancelled from Manchester and then again at Gatwick, leading to them being forced to sleep on an airport floor.

‘We’ve been treated like animals. It’s been one problem after another. I would never fly with easyJet again,’ she added.

Meanwhile, Michelle Farmer, 56, said her and daughter Madeleine’s Tui flight from Bristol to Naples was cancelled with less than an hour’s notice.

‘We’ve been sent through baggage collection with luggage thrown on the floor, now standing outside airport. No help. Poor on every level,’ she tweeted.

Tui said the cancellation was ‘due to a combination of factors’ and added: ‘We are doing all we can to keep customers updated.’

Huge queues were pictured at Gatwick North Terminal’s easyJet bag drop (Picture: Twitter)

Literally every aspect of travelling to/via Dublin is in disarray. Airport is an omnishambles, when you make it through that hellscape you encounter one of the worst capital city transport links in Europe. Taxis non-existent, three star hotels charging Ritz-Carlton rates.

— Ronan Mullen (@RonanReigns) May 29, 2022

Security was ‘temporarily closed’ at Heathrow Airport on Sunday (Picture: Twitter)

Airports are having problems finding enough security guards, check-in staff and baggage handlers following mass redundancies during the pandemic.

In Dublin, bosses last night warned of ‘significant queues’ and said that some passengers could miss flights as 50,000 were due to pass through over the next 24 hours.

The airport previously blamed staff shortages for long delays.

With delays looking expected at airports this weekend, similar chaos on roads looks likely.

Drivers have been warned to expect long waits on popular routes during the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday period.

More: Metro newspaper

The RAC estimate 19.5 million leisure trips by road will take place between Wednesday and Sunday.

A survey of 1,460 drivers’ travel plans indicated that Friday is likely to be the most congested day on the roads as day-trippers combine with families returning home from half-term breaks.

The M25 anticlockwise from Junction 17 at Maple Cross Interchange, Hertfordshire to Junction 12 at Thorpe Interchange, Surrey has been highlighted as a likely congestion hotspot.

Another is the A303 running past Stonehenge, Wiltshire, which is a popular route for holidaymakers travelling towards the South West.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.