Thousands of Britons have seen their bank holiday travel plans disrupted after British Airways and easyJet cancelled dozens of flights.
Both airlines made significant flight cancellations on Thursday (August 24) as a reduction in flying was imposed by Air Traffic Control over parts of Western Europe due to poor weather conditions.
The chaos continued into Friday, with British Airways and easyJet cancelling at least 40 more flights between UK airports and destinations in the U.S, Greece and Spain, among other destinations.
Unhappy travellers took to ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday morning to vent their frustration over cancelled flights, with some citing issues with the airlines’ customer service.
Barry Sheerman, the Labour MP for Huddersfield, wrote: ‘Chaotic scenes at Heathrow as flights cancelled and people stranded.’
Thousands of Britons have seen their bank holiday travel plans disrupted after British Airways and easyJet cancelled dozens of flights
And user ‘Fi Golden’ wrote: ‘Going to the U.S to get married, but oh wait, BA cancelled our flight from Glasgow two hours before and told us to leave the airport and go home because there was nothing the staff there could do. Called the useless customer service line and got an automated voice saying they’re dealing with a lot of calls and to try again later.’
User ‘Lionel‘ wrote: ‘British Airways – cancelling our flight once was bad enough but then twice with less than three hours’ notice and not answering the phone is an absolute disgrace.’
While user ‘Ella’ tagged easyJet in a tweet and said: ‘’Flight cancelled from Alicante to Bristol, no other flights until Monday and no help in finding accommodation for the four extra days we have to stay here for. Sort it out.’ She added that the situation was a ‘shambles’.
MailOnline Travel Editor Ted Thornhill was also caught up in the disruption. He says: ‘My flight from Marseille to London Gatwick on Thursday was delayed by almost four hours. In Marseille we sat at the gate with the doors closed for three hours, with the captain explaining that thunderstorms in northern France had prompted air traffic control to place restrictions on flight routes.
‘He sounded as frustrated as we passengers all felt.
‘Then we were held up at Gatwick once we’d landed as departures had been suspended because of heavy weather, which meant our gate was occupied.
‘To their credit, the pilots were very apologetic and invited passengers up into the flight deck to help pass the time on the tarmac in Marseille. And the cabin crew were quick to hand out water and free snacks.
‘The gate staff, however, at Marseille were unimpressive. Their communication was woeful. They didn’t seem to care one jot about our plight. They couldn’t even muster the energy to get on the PA system and utter a quick apology.’
Commenting on the cancellations, Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Thousands of travellers are having their holiday plans thrown into disarray by delays and cancellations and yet again we are seeing passengers complaining about a complete failure from airlines to communicate properly about disruption or provide adequate support and help with rerouting and refunds.
Both easyJet and British Airways made significant flight cancellations on Thursday as a reduction in flying was imposed by air traffic controllers over parts of Western Europe due to poor weather conditions
‘Year after year it’s the same old story and passengers are fed up of airlines disregarding their rights and getting away with it. The Civil Aviation Authority must be given the powers it needs to take action against airlines when they fail customers in the event of disruption – including the ability to fine companies directly. The Prime Minister must now prioritise legislation to deliver the government’s commitment for stronger enforcement powers in the King’s Speech later this year.’
A statement from BA says: ‘Like other airlines, due to adverse weather conditions experienced in the London area and across Europe, we’ve made some minor adjustments to our short-haul schedule. We’ve contacted affected customers to apologise and offer them rebooking options or a full refund.’
The airline added that it had ‘taken action on short-haul routes with multi-frequencies to ensure customers are able to travel as close to their original departure date as planned’.
MailOnline Travel Editor Ted Thornhill was caught up in the disruption, with his easyJet flight from Marseille to London dramatically delayed on Thursday. Above is his view of the beginnings of the storm system that the plane was diverted around
And a statement from easyJet said: ‘Due to the impact of ATC restrictions across the network yesterday caused by adverse weather conditions across the UK and Europe which also resulted in the temporary suspension of operations at London Gatwick, some flights yesterday evening have been unable to operate as planned.
‘We have been doing all possible to minimise the impact for our customers, providing those on cancelled flights with options to rebook or receive a refund as well as hotel accommodation and meals where required and we advise any customers who source their own that they will be reimbursed.
‘Due to the knock-on impact of yesterday’s weather and air traffic restrictions, we advise customers to check the status of their flight on our Flight Tracker or via the app.’
The statement adds: ‘The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority and while this is outside of our control, we would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused.’