easyJet cancelled flights to Amsterdam, Palmero and Lisbon today (Tuesday), out of around 60 flights cancelled throughout the country.
Airports across the country had been affected after a steep rise in passenger numbers during the half term break.
The chaos was exacerbated by a power cut at Luton Airport on Sunday morning which saw flights diverted around the country.
Passenger Ali Haynes took to Twitter on Tuesday saying her holiday had been ruined. She had been planning to go to Palmero, and had checked in three hours before the flight was due. But after checking in and going through security she received a text saying the flight was cancelled.
“We’re now stuck in Luton departures with no information on what next. Holiday ruined”, the mother of a five month old child tweeted.
Hundreds of flights across the country have been cancelled – many at short notice – by easyjet, Tui and British Airways among others, as the companies struggle to recruit extra staff after the pandemic.
Airlines, airports and ground handling firms are now struggling to recruit new staff and have their security checks processed amid a surge in demand since restrictions were lifted.
But others were quick to come to the support of Luton Airport.
Jason Needs posted on Twitter on June 1: “Well done Luton airport team. All areas deserve grateful thanks from holiday makers terrified of seeing what is going on at Gatwick or Manchester. Was amazed to see no car park queues and lots of people moving through security lines without much delay. Well done!”
On Monday Georgie Callé posted: “19 hours late and with an incredible amount of stress and no sleep I couldn’t be happier to be at Luton Airport. Despite the horrific experience, counting us lucky. There’s still so so many people stranded abroad with no information from airlines.”
A spokesman for London Luton Airport said issues with cancellations and flight scheduling are a matter for the airlines but that the power outage on Sunday was an isolated incident that was quickly resolved by engineers, and completely unrelated to the wider issues being seen elsewhere.
He said: “It followed a very busy half-term week for the airport that saw around half a million people passing through and operations running very smoothly.
“As ever, our advice to passengers is to follow the guidance of their airlines and to allow plenty of time for all document and security checks.”
A government spokesperson added: “The aviation industry is responsible for making sure they have enough staff to meet demand, and we have been clear that they must step up recruitment to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum.
“In addition, using our post-Brexit freedoms, we have changed the law to provide the sector with more flexibility when training new employees, which will help it to fill vacancies more quickly. We have also worked with Border Force to ensure preparations meet passenger demand.”