Some passengers tried to get some rest on the baggage conveyor belts (Picture: Tony Brown/Twitter)
Passengers at Gatwick Airport have resorted to taking naps on baggage conveyors belts, as holiday chaos continues to hit the UK.
People at Heathrow Airport claimed they had never seen queues so bad, while TUI confirmed it would be cancelling at least six flights a day until the end of next month from Manchester.
At least five travellers at Gatwick were pictured attempting to get some rest in arrivals at Gatwick – despite a warning saying ‘please do not sit or stand on the conveyor’.
One Twitter user suggested they had been waiting for more than two hours for their bags, while EasyJet has cancelled at least 31 flights at the airport.
It comes amid chaotic scenes around the UK as holidaymakers attempt to defy horrendous queues and delays to get away.
At London’s other major airport, Heathrow passengers trying to board their flights claimed they had ‘never’ seen queues as long as those this morning.
Queues for security at Terminal Three repeatedly looped back onto themselves, with one woman joking to a friend: ‘Shall I time it? Dare we?’
Queues were also horrendous at Heathrow Terminal 2 (Picture: i-Images)
An American couple, who regularly fly over to visit their children, had stood for half an hour in one of the queues and expected to wait at least another hour.
‘We’ve never had this experience before,’ the woman, who declined to give her name, explained.
There are also long delays at Bristol Airport.
Meanwhile, apologising to customers, Tui Airways said in a statement: ‘The May half-term holidays are always an incredibly busy period with many customers looking to get away, and this year is no different.’
Admitting six flights a day would be cut, it continued: ‘Unfortunately, due to ongoing challenges in our operation, we have had to announce a small number of planned cancellations between now and 30 June from Manchester Airport only.
TUI has confirmed it will cancel six flights a day until the end of the month at Manchester Airport (Picture: Reuters)
‘We are directly contacting all impacted customers in departure date order and they will automatically receive a full refund.
‘We can reassure our customers that the remainder of our flying programme is expected to operate as planned.’
It comes as extraordinary footage showed police reading out a TUI statement to passengers telling them that their holidays were cancelled.
One girl cried as her flight home from Cyprus was cancelled twice by the airline.
Meanwhile, ministers have been accused of failing to ‘step up’, with the shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, Labour’s James Murray claiming that the Government ‘hasn’t prepared’ for the rise in demand for travel.
Passengers queueing for check-in at Manchester Airport earlier (Picture: LNP)
A spokeswoman for the Government insisted the aviation industry is ‘responsible for making sure they have enough staff to meet demand’ and blamed ‘an exceptionally high number of people travelling’ this week for delays.
Airline passengers have been hit by cancellations and long delays at airports for several months, but the situation has dramatically escalated during the half-term school holiday and ahead of the Platinum Jubilee.
Aviation data firm Cirium said 291 departures from major UK airports have been cancelled between May 25 and Tuesday.
The problems have also been blamed on long-term staff shortages, made worse by the industry sacking thousands of staff during the Covid crisis.
Teen charged with murdering ‘joy-filled’ student on his way home from prom
British Airways is continuing to cancel dozens of flights each day, although the airline said passengers are being told several days in advance.
Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham said those in charge of UK aviation companies ‘should hang their heads in shame’.
She went on: ‘They got very rich on high profits and low pay. They then sacked and slashed wages for thousands of workers without a second thought during the pandemic.
‘Now they are reaping what they have sown because, understandably, people don’t want to work for them anymore.’
Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of the Prospect union, warned that ‘staff shortages across the industry’ meant there was a ‘huge reliance on overtime to get by day to day’.
He went on: ‘In many areas, like air traffic control, overtime is only a temporary sticking plaster.
‘So, things could get worse this summer before they get better.’
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps introduced legislation last month to allow new aviation recruits to begin training before passing security checks to reduce the time it takes for them to start work.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.