EasyJet cancelled flights: how many UK flights has airline axed today, why so many, holiday makers’ reaction
More than 222 easyJet flights were cancelled over the weekend and a further 62 on Monday, with passengers given less than 10 hours notice
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EasyJet cancelled another 42 flights today (Friday 8 April) as the chaos at UK airports continues.
More than 200 flights were impacted over the weekend and disruption is expected to continue this week as people look to get away for the Easter holidays.
The cancellations left hundreds of passengers stranded amid travel chaos at some of the UK’s biggest airports, with some saying they were given less than 10 hours notice that their flight would not go ahead.
Why have flights been cancelled?
The budget airline blamed the cancellations on high levels of staff sickness caused by Covid.
It said it had made efforts to offset staff shortages by “rostering” additional standby crew on the weekend, but was forced to make “additional cancellations”.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness.
“We have taken action to mitigate this through the rostering of additional standby crew this weekend, however, with the current levels of sickness we have also decided to make some cancellations in advance which were focused on consolidating flights where we have multiple frequencies so customers have more options to rebook their travel, often on the same day.
“Unfortunately it has been necessary to make some additional cancellations for today and tomorrow. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to customers on affected flights.
“We have made 62 pre-emptive cancellations for flights to and from the UK for tomorrow which represents a small proportion of tomorrow’s total flying programme which was planned to be more than 1,645 flights.
“We cancelled the majority of these yesterday.”
‘No explanation or alternative route’
Some holidaymakers reported being stuck abroad due to the disruption and said no explanation or alternative route home was offered by the airline.
Simon Rudkins, 50, said he was due to return from a ski trip in the Alps with his family when easyJet contacted him with less than 10 hours notice saying their flight was cancelled.
He was travelling with his mother, 85, who has dementia after she joined them for the journey back.
The freelance landscape gardener said he had to call customers who were expecting him on Monday to explain the delay and will lose out on money for the jobs.
Mr Rudkins said: “We called easyJet asking for alternatives. We basically got told ‘no, there’s nothing, no flights at all. The best you can do is fly tomorrow.
“I probably wouldn’t go near easyJet (again). Not because of the fact they’ve had to cancel a flight, but because they don’t care and there was no explanation given.”
Covid delays at airports
It comes after passengers were stuck in long queues at Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning as the Easter holidays got under way.
The airport blamed the congestion on Covid checks required by destination countries and “high passenger volumes”.
But there were also reports of staff shortages and problems with the e-gate passport checkpoints as travellers took to social media to air their frustrations, with some saying they had waited hours to take off.
Other travellers said several of the automatic e-gates, staffed by Border Force and used to process passengers, were not operating properly.
The Home Office confirmed there had been a “technical issue” with the checkpoints which has since been resolved, and said the problem had not caused queues to exceed the “standard length” at Heathrow.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Due to high passenger volumes and the Covid documentation checks still required by many end destinations, Terminal 2 departures has experienced some congestion today.
“Our teams are supporting our airline partners to get passengers away on their journeys as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.”
Manchester Airport experienced similar problems in recent weeks as it struggled to cope with delays due to increased traveller numbers amid staff shortages. Some travellers arriving at the airport also voiced complaints about extensive waits in the baggage reclaim halls.
A spokesman for Manchester Airport said passengers were being advised that “security queues may be longer than usual” and urged people to arrive early for their flight.