Thousands of passengers have had their travel plans wrecked after UK airlines cancelled a number of flights at the start of the busy bank holiday weekend.
MP Barry Sheerman was among the many travellers who suffered travel delays and he described “chaotic scenes” at Heathrow.
More than 40 British Airways and easyJet flights were cancelled on Friday – on top of more cancellations made late on Thursday – to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Director Ian Savage said British Airways had grounded his Belfast flight with only four hours’ notice.
Broadcaster Sangita Myska tried to keep across the delays and heard the frustrations of passengers.
She also warned that “some passengers from Glasgow have been diverted to Edinburgh”.
Which? has been campaigning for legislation that gives the Civil Aviation Authority extra powers to fine airlines.
“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,” said Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel.
“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 CAA 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.”
Friday was expected to see more than 11,000 people take off from the UK’s airports, the most since October 2019, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium, up 10 per cent compared to the same period in 2022 and up 83 per cent on 2021.
It was also an extremely busy day for drivers, who were warned to avoid the busiest times of the day. On Saturday, a rail strike will be thrown into the mix.
Motorists were advised to avoid major roads where possible, with the Royal Automobile Club estimating 14 million road journeys at the weekend.
On Saturday, about 20,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at 14 train operators will be striking in a long-running dispute over pay.