Heathrow apologises to passengers as it is ranked the third worst airport in the UK

Travel chaos: Flying to be 'more expensive' reveals expert

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Passengers at Heathrow Airport have faced “long queues” and “delays” in recent weeks. The travel chaos was not “acceptable” according to the airport.

It said: “Despite our best efforts there have been periods in recent weeks, where service levels have not been acceptable, with long queue times, delays for passengers with reduced mobility, bags not travelling with passengers or arriving late, and we want to apologise for any passengers who have been affected by this.”

In June, many Britons had to fly without luggage as a huge baggage mountain built up at the airport.

Heathrow Airport said it has spent time rebuilding staff capacity after the pandemic shut down.

It said: “We started recruiting back in November last year in anticipation of capacity recovering this summer, and by the end of July we will have as many people working in security as we had pre-pandemic.

“We have also reopened Terminal 4 to provide more space for passengers.

“Rebuilding capacity quickly is very challenging after the significant reductions in resources across the entire aviation supply chain.

“Arrivals punctuality is very low as a result of delays at other airports and airspace congestion across Europe and this has compounded the challenge of resource constraints for the airport, airlines, ground handlers and Government agencies.”

Analysis from the Civil Aviation Authority found that Heathrow Airport was the third worst airport for delays.

Birmingham Airport was ranked the worst in the UK for delays with flights an average of 12 minutes late taking off.

Southampton Airport was the second worst for delays with flights delayed by 12 minutes on average.

Flights at Heathrow Airport were delayed by 11 minutes and 48 seconds on average, earning it the third spot in the rankings.

Exeter and Aberdeen airports also made the top five rankings for most delays as the sector struggles to cope with holiday demand.

Top 10 airports with most delays

  1. Birmingham
  2. Southampton
  3. Heathrow
  4. Exeter
  5. Aberdeen
  6. Doncaster Sheffield
  7. Luton
  8. Manchester
  9. Glasgow
  10. Leeds Bradford

Heathrow boss, John Holland-Kaye, added: “Last month, we saw exponential growth in passenger numbers as nearly six million people got away, the equivalent of 40 years of growth in just four months.

“I am very proud of the way that our team is rising to the challenge of growth, and giving excellent service to the vast majority of passengers.

“However, we have already seen times recently when demand exceeds the capacity of the airport, airlines and ground handlers.

“We will review the schedule changes that airlines have submitted in response to the Government’s requirement to minimise disruption for passengers this summer and will ask them to take further action if necessary.

“We want everyone who is travelling through Heathrow to be confident that they will have a safe and reliable journey.”

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