Brits warned to expect travel chaos this summer amid staff shortages

Holidaymakers have been warned to brace themselves for travel chaos this summer as airlines struggle to cope with staffing shortages.

Brits have been told to prepare for long passport queues and packed airports as emergency plans are drawn up to prevent lines from tailing back in airports this Easter.

Officials have accused ministers of supervising "cripplingly slow" security checks for new employees as tens of thousands of potential staff await clearance.

On Monday (April 11), British Airways were forced to cancel 64 domestic and European flights from Heathrow in response.

Operators have also referred to difficulties in searching for recruits, security red tape and absences due to Covid, reports The Times.

It has been reported that Good Friday is expected to be the busiest day of Easter with 2,430 flights set to leave the UK.

According to Flight data specialists Cirium, 9,212 flights will depart over the bank holiday weekend in total.

However, airlines fear that the disruption will continue into the summer if current issues don't get addressed.

An industry figure told The Times: "The process is cripplingly slow, Aviation was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic, suffered from a lack of targeted support, and is now facing a summer disrupted by the government being slow in vetting staff."

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Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Service Union, said border forces have already had to deal with Covid absences and the Channel migrant crisis.

"There's the potential for significant problems at the tail-end of this week and at the weekend and planning has already started," she said.

"We're bringing staff down from Scotland and Northern Ireland to Heathrow.

"They get expenses and overtime and they're being offered a cash bonus for each shift they cover at Heathrow.

"Some passengers will sail through, but others could be looking at several hours in a queue. It won't be chaos universally but there will be patches."

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