‘Total chaos’ at airports as hundreds of thousands take off for summer vacation – .

‘Total chaos’ at airports as hundreds of thousands take off for summer vacation – .

Other passengers described “chaotic” scenes (Photo: SWNS / PA)

Travelers have complained of ‘utter chaos’ at UK airports as hundreds of thousands leave for their summer holidays.

Airports and airlines are gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year, with Heathrow expecting to welcome around 128,000 passengers on Saturday and Sunday.

General manager John Holland-Kaye said additional staff would be available to ensure passengers a “smooth journey”.

But Fiona Brett, violinist with the European Chamber Orchestra, said she had to wait in line for two hours to check in for her flight to Frankfurt on Saturday morning.

Ms Brett, from Watlington, Oxfordshire, said she checked in online but then had to show staff her Covid vaccination certificate with ‘utter chaos’ seeing her 9:30 am flight delayed.

She said: “They were constantly calling people out of the queue for the next flight that was closing.

“In fact, it would have been better to show up at 8:30 am and be called from the back of the line to the front – total chaos.

“When I finally managed to check in (15 minutes after the flight closed), the security lines were nonexistent and there was hardly anyone airside in the terminal.

“I think the queues were not caused by too many people, but by the airlines having to do all the extra checks before checking in properly. “

Huge queues at Heathrow Airport on Saturday (Photo: PA)

Other passengers have taken to social media to complain about the queues at London Stansted, with one calling the scenes ‘chaotic’.

Twitter user Dr Robert Baunsbak Coull said: “@Ryanair totally unacceptable scenes at Stanstead Airport with complete understaffing, lost passenger lines and chaotic scenes. #superspreader # covid19. ‘

Another Twitter user, Lily McMyn, posted pictures of crowds and added: “@STN_Airport shocking, chaos and heckling”.

London Stansted said it expected 1,330 flights from Friday to Monday, while 958 flights are expected at Manchester Airport and 224 at East Midlands Airport.

This is an increase from 735, 632 and 177 respectively over the same weekend last year.

Meanwhile, Gatwick Airport said it expects to see around 250 to 260 flights and between 25,000 to 27,000 passengers a day over the weekend, up from just 15 flights a day at the peak of the pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “Our passengers can now choose from flights to over 100 destinations in over 30 countries, so we are expecting our busiest weekend of the year so far.

“We will be processing over 250 each day, with locations in Spain and Greece particularly popular. “

Airline easyJet said it was preparing to carry more than 135,000 passengers this weekend from the UK on more than 80 routes to Green and Orange List destinations across Europe.

A total of 251 easyJet flights will fly, with popular destinations including Malta, Madeira, Malaga in Spain, Faro and Lisbon in Portugal, and Corfu and Athens in Greece, the airline added.

Ali Gayward, national director of easyJet UK, said: “With schools closed for the summer, this weekend is the busiest weekend so far this year and we look forward to ‘take as many people as possible on this long-awaited and well-deserved weekend. travel, or to reunite them with their loved ones.

Tui said he had almost double the number of passengers traveling Friday through Sunday compared to last weekend, with the Balearics and Greece being “clear favorites” and Palma, Ibiza and Rhodes the most popular destinations.

Jet2 said it had 170 flights departing to more than 40 destinations over the weekend, up from around 70 to six the weekend before.

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