More than 150 UK flights cancelled on eve of Platinum Jubilee weekend

A long queue at Stansted Airport, a couple sitting/lying down at Gatwick Airport, a huge crowd at Heathrow, a long queue at Manchester Airport.

Airport and travel chaos has worsened as more people try to get away for the Bank Holiday weekend (Pictures: LNP/PA/W8 Media)

At least 155 short-haul flights have been cancelled just in time to ruin people’s plans for the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

Holidaymakers have had an incredibly stressful few weeks with huge queues, long delays and cancelled trips.

Airports and airlines cut too much of its workforce during the Covid pandemic, leaving the industry too short-staffed for the current demand for travel.

The chaos reached a climax this week as staff struggle to cope with those taking advantage of the half-term break and the four day Bank Holiday weekend.

EasyJet cancelled 31 flights from Gatwick to destinations including Bologna, Italy, Barcelona, Spain, Prague, Czech Republic, Krakow, Poland and Edinburgh.

British Airways axed 124 flights at Heathrow, but the airline says passengers were given advance notice.

TUI Airways previously announced it would be cancelling six flights a day from Manchester Airport for a month. This is a quarter of the company’s schedule.

People queuing for busses to leave Stansted Airport in Essex on Wednesday morning as the delays and chaos continue across the country at the major airports.

People had to stand in massive queues as they waited for buses leaving Stansted Airport (Picture: Bav Media)

A passenger sleeping on a woman's lap at North Terminal at Gatwick Airport as Jubilee Bank Holiday getaway continues.

People queued at Gatwick Airport for so long that they could no longer stand (Picture: LNP)

Big crowd of people in Heathrow Airport.

This week seems to be the busiest Heathrow Airport has seen so far

Passengers queue for check-in  in the underground car park outside Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport.

The queue for checking in ran all the way into the carpark at Manchester Airport (Picture: LNP)

Despite this, TUI is still selling holidays leaving from Manchester this weekend, MailOnline revealed.

You will usually be told if any changes or cancellations have affected your trip, but you can double-check using a number of online trackers.

Some airlines, including EasyJet, TUI, RyanairWizzairBritish Airways, have their own dedicated trackers.

Today’s cancellations come after a TUI pilot had to call the police to help disembark a plane ’abandoned’ on the runway for hours.

Families going from Manchester Airport to Tenerife only boarded their flight at 7pm on Monday evening – one-and-a-half hours after they were supposed to embark.

They then sat on the hot aircraft for three hours while they waited for their baggage to be loaded.

But this took too long and the crew surpassed its legal working hours, meaning the plane missed its window to take off.

As ‘there was not a single staff member in sight’, the desperate pilot called the police to help passengers disembark.

Just one day later, footage emerged of police telling passengers waiting to board a TUI flight from Manchester to Greece that their holiday was cancelled and they had to go home.

A mum also told how her little girl was left ‘exhausted and in tears’ after the airline cancelled their flights home from Cyprus twice.

The ‘carnage’ caused has left companies locked in a blame game with the Government.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reportedly spent months warning the travel industry to be prepared for a sudden increase in demand.

But firms continued to ‘seriously oversell flights and holidays relative to their capacity to deliver’, he said.

He has now demanded a meeting with airports, airlines and ground handlers to ‘find out what’s gone wrong and how they are planning to end the current run of cancellations and delays’.

Trade union Unite criticised the travel industry for taking public money during the pandemic but failing to protect jobs and leaving airports in ‘crisis’.

General secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Taxpayers do not pay firms to sack their workers and cut their pay and conditions.’

Besides international travel, the Jubilee weekend is expected to bring issues for those planning any domestic journeys as well.

You can see’s map of the country’s biggest traffic hotspots this weekend here.

A map showing the Jubilee weekend traffic hotspots.

These are expected to be the heaviest traffic hotspots during the Jubilee weekend (Picture: INRIX/RAC/

The bumper Bank Holiday means around 19.5million road trips will be made between Wednesday and Sunday, according to insurance company RAC.

Friday is set to be busiest as day-trippers cross paths with families coming home from half-term breaks, but heavy traffic on some motorways is expected throughout the period.

Many of the worst delays are expected on Wednesday as drivers rush off after work.

Although publish transport is sure to be swamped too, Network Rail have ruled out engineering works normally saved for Bank Holiday in order to keep all major lines open during the Jubilee celebrations.

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

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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