8th April 2022
Delays and cancellations at airports and the Port of Dover have impacted people and organisations going skiing. The travel problems are expected to continue across the weekend. NEW
The disruption at airports and the Port of Dover is continuing.
A school in Kent has had its school trip cancelled and flight cancellations at Gatwick has meant pupils from another school could not join their school trip.
Other skiers are anxiously checking their flights.
Pupils from Aylesford School in Kent were due to travel with P&O Ferries this weekend on a ski trip to Italy.
The holiday was cancelled with 24-hour’s notice.
It is the third time it has been cancelled after two years of Covid-19.
The travel company the school was using was unable to find an alternative ferry company reports Kent Online.
A group of schoolchildren has told the BBC how upsetting it was for their EasyJet flight from Gatwick to be cancelled, preventing them from joining their classmates on a skiing trip.
“It’s really sad, because we had to get up really, really early in the morning for absolutely nothing, just to sit in the airport for about six hours, sitting next to our suitcases looking forward to something that wasn’t going to happen,” one of the girls said.
EasyJet has apologised and offered further assistance, including a refund.
Many others travelling are worried their flights may get cancelled with short notice
“We’re off ff to Vaujany as long as flights don’t get canned, keeping everything crossed for Sunday,” said one PlanetSKI reader to us ahead of her planned family holiday.
Manchester Airport said the long waits it has seen at security checks might continue for weeks.
Manchester Airport appears to be the worst affected, but Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham have also been hit by cancellations and delays.
At Dover the suspension of P&O ferry services and bad weather have also caused delays for those driving to the Alps and other parts of Europe.
Airports say they are struggling to recruit and train new staff to cope with demand.
The airlines say they have also been hit by staff absences due to Covid cases.
At Manchester airport people have been told to prepare for longer waits and to arrive three hours before their flight time.
EasyJet cancelled 60 flights on Tuesday alone with British Airways also experiencing problems.
EasyJet blamed staff absences due to Covid and said there are double the normal amount of people off sick.
Airports are also facing problems with not enough staff to deal with the surge in bookings as covid travel restrictions have been eased.
EasyJet has said it is likely that it will have to cancel more flights in the next few days.
The airline says the advanced cancellations are made in order “to give customers notice.”
“We are contacting customers directly and providing them with their options,” the airline said in a statement earlier in the week.
“We expect to make similar levels of pre-emptive cancellations over the coming days, due to the ongoing high level of sickness.”
Lesley Offley from Surrey was due to fly to Austria with her family this week to celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday.
The 62-year old woman told the BBC that “We’ve spent all morning unravelling all our travel plans for my husband’s 60th birthday – first time we’ve attempted to travel since 2019 – and I’m completely fed up.
“It’s been phone calls and emails all day, accommodation is lot more money so we’ve lost out there and we’re still trying sort out the travel insurance.
“We’ve re-booked for next week but I don’t feel confident at all.”
People heading to the Alps to ski have been advised to contact their airline to check the current situation.