Travel companies are currently struggling to meet demand due to a shortage of workers and computer failures. This has caused widespread disruption throughout the UK and beyond which has especially affected air and sea travel.
If you’re planning a trip over the coming weeks, read on to find out how this affects you and what you can do to minimise potential problems.
- What’s happening?
- What’s causing the travel disruption?
- How long is the travel disruption expected to last?
- How does it impact me?
- What should I do?
- What if my flight is cancelled?
- How do I cancel my accommodation?
- Can travel insurance protect me against travel disruption?
Transport operators are facing operational difficulties, which has led to airlines having to cancel flights at short notice. Ferry operators are also struggling to fulfil bookings.
Last week easyJet cancelled over 200 flights which they claim is due to air traffic control restrictions, runway works and airport handling delays. British Airways and TUI have also cancelled numerous flights in recent days, as thousands of passengers hope to go on a half-term holiday.
What’s causing the travel disruption?
The main issues causing disruption at airports are a surge in travellers going away over half term, combined with staff shortages. The shortages are affecting all airport departments across airport security to baggage handlers and cabin crew.
Ferry services on the Channel are also experiencing problems. There’s heavy traffic in Dover due to a lack of open French border control booths which is causing delays for passengers.
How long is the travel disruption expected to last?
It’s believed delays are likely to continue until the summer. Airlines are now struggling to recruit additional staff following the pandemic’s widespread redundancies.
Ferry ports are also likely to remain busy over the coming days due to the Bank Holiday weekend. We recommend checking your ferry operators sailing updates for the latest information.
How does it impact me?
If you’re travelling by air, expect longer then normal queues at security. Passengers travelling from Gatwick, Bristol and Manchester are currently experiencing long delays.
Long traffic queues and congestion at ferry ports are also expected to continue while the operators try to manage the increase in demand.
What should I do?
Wherever you’re heading, be sure to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel.
Airports now advise passengers to arrive at least three hours before their flight. Check for planned roadworks and traffic before setting off for the airport, and be prepared to take an alternative route if necessary.
To speed things up a little, make sure you’re prepared when you arrive at the airport. Check all your documents are in order and easily accessible. At security be prepared to remove coats, shoes, watches and belts. Don’t forget to keep liquids in a separate clear bag, too!
For live flight updates, keep an eye on the airport’s website for real-time departure information.
What if my flight is cancelled?
If your flight has been cancelled by the airline, you will need to contact your travel provider. They should be able to offer you a full refund or rearrange your flight.
How do I cancel my accommodation?
If your flight is cancelled and you need to cancel your accommodation booking, you will need to request a refund from your travel provider
If your booking is non-refundable, you may be able to make a claim on your travel insurance policy. For more information on making a claim, visit our claims page.
Can travel insurance protect me against travel disruption?
If you need to cancel your trip due to travel disruption, it’s important that you contact your travel provider first. Your travel provider may be able to offer you a full refund, or help you to make alternative travel arrangements.
If your travel provider is unable to offer you a full refund, or rebook your holiday, you may be able to claim back the costs of your trip on your travel insurance. You can find more information on our claims page.
If you’re able to rebook your holiday, we can help by moving the travel dates on your single trip policy. We can move your policy start date as long as it falls within 18 months from the date you bought your policy, or 24 months if you bought your policy from 29 April 2021 and are eligible. There may be a charge for changes to your policy.