Britons stuck in Gatwick chaos after canceled flights said “no staff” were there to help

Accountant Alice Emery, 28, and her electrician husband Alan, 31, from Southampton, tried to board an easyJet flight from Gatwick Airport at 5.55am for a planned short break to Venice but had no luck

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Gatwick Airport: Passengers with a delayed flight

Angry holidaymakers stranded for hours at Gatwick Airport after their flights were canceled say there were no staff to help them as the “chaos” unfolded.

Frustrated passengers began arriving as early as 3.30am today before flights were canceled at the last minute.

On the departures level of the airport’s south terminal, operations appeared to be back to normal around 10.30am today, with people checking in their bags and departure screens showing no flights as ‘cancelled’.

However, it turns out that was only the case because people were let through security and passport control before being told at the gate that their flights had been cancelled.

Accountant Alice Emery, 28, and her electrician husband Alan, 31, from Southampton, tried to board an easyJet flight at 5.55am for a planned short break to Venice.

Customers queue at the Vueling and EasyJet check-in desks at Gatwick Airport



Alice said: “We got up at 2am to board and we had passed through security when instead of ‘go to the gate’ it said ‘help at the gate’.

“We went down and there was a huge long line and at least three flights had been cancelled.

“There was no staff at all, just a pocket technician.

“When the line finally moved, we were just pushed through to the arrivals hall.

“Again there was no staff and no one on site to tell where to get your bags from.

“There were no EasyJet flights to book so we rebooked with BA which cost us £960 just to fly one way.

“Our new flight is scheduled to leave at 3:50 p.m., so we’ll have been here 10 hours.”

Transport worker Melanie Church, 49, from Essex, was also due to be on the same flight to Venice to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Gatwick customers sleep in the South Terminal



She said: “I arrived at 3.30am, checked my bags and got through passport control thinking I was going to board the flight.

“I walked past the North Terminal in the morning and lines zigzagged to the door.

“I went to the South Terminal and was stunned because it was pretty quiet.

“I had arrived at the gate when I received a flight update from easyJet saying ‘This flight has been cancelled, gate assistance’.”

“Everyone was standing at the gate and there was no staff.

“There was one person who was ground crew. I don’t want to be in his shoes. Obviously people were really upset.

“I have now booked with BA which has cost me £680 which I will reclaim via easyJet.

“I’m just taking a short break until Monday and have all paid accommodation.

Customers complained that they received no help after their flights were cancelled



“The most frustrating thing was there was no one from easyJet on site to speak to.

“They take you back through security and through the gates as if you had just stepped off the plane.”

Laborer Colin Taylor, 59, from Hastings, East Sussex, is due to go to Edinburgh for his niece’s wedding tomorrow.

He said: “I got here at 4.30am for a 7.10am flight. We checked in believing we would pull through.

“We got through security and then the boarding passes didn’t work. We got an email that it was cancelled.

“We changed the flight to another easyJet flight to Glasgow which was free.

“I’m going to a wedding, let’s hope I get there.

“When I found out the flight was cancelled, I was really worried that I would miss it.

“You really think they should have told us yesterday if they were going to cancel it. They need to know which crews are allowed on which flights.”

Chris Simpson, 57, a lorry driver from Horsham, West Sussex, was due to board a flight to Doha with his wife, but the couple are likely to cut their losses and go home.

He said: “We were here at 10am for a 2pm flight to Doha where we were planning a connection to Abu Dhabi.

“We went to the BA area to check in and said that due to the situation, we were early and would be flying to Doha. They just said, “We’re not going there.”

One customer said BA handled the situation “disgustingly”.



“The way BA has handled this is disgusting.

“They just told us to contact travel company Voyage Prive UK.

“We were going to Abu Dhabi for a short break and flying back on Monday. If we change flight, we just get there and fly straight back, there’s no point.

“We cannot extend our break because we have only booked the booked non-working time and cannot change it.

“It’s too late to feel like there’s still hope.”

Ship worker Jack Hijmans, 23, was due to fly to Amsterdam at 7.35am but first received a boarding pass for a flight to Geneva.

He said: “I went through security and found it was cancelled.

“The apps won’t let you check in, you have to check in manually.

“Luckily I didn’t miss any work and I’ll be fine until the flight arrives.”

Educational writer Fiona Aish, 49, and her partner Mike Burrows, 45, live in Galicia, Spain, and were due to return to Santiago de Compostella on Monday.

London-born Fiona said: “We almost got a flight on Monday and then the flight was overbooked and we couldn’t board at the gate even though we arrived five hours before the scheduled departure.

“We were sent to a hotel in Guilford on Monday evening and had to check out on Tuesday before checking back in later in the day.

“We’re supposed to go back at 8pm tonight but we got there eight hours early just to be on the safe side.

“No one has given any information and there have been no announcements.

“The only thing we will say about the whole situation is that there was no staff at all, and especially no one who is elderly.

“The local people are trying their best, but they just don’t have any support at all.”

An easyJet spokesman said: “We deeply regret that flight EZY6423 from London Gatwick to Venice on 1 June has been cancelled.

“We have informed customers directly of their options to rebook or receive and refund and are providing hotel accommodation and meals where required.

“Nevertheless, we fully understand the disruption this will have caused to their plans and we are deeply sorry.”

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