How to avoid airport chaos this summer

The ongoing chaos at UK airports has seen British Airways cancel flights for up to 105,000 holidaymakers due to a strike, hundreds of suitcases have gone missing and the government has been forced to speed up security checks for new workers to mitigate disruption.

And this travel chaos shows no signs of abating, with Heathrow, the UK’s biggest and busiest airport, warning last week that the nightmare could continue well into 2026.

As the school holidays begin and Britain settles in for ‘a summer of unhappiness for air travellers’, as Irish weather described it, questions are being asked about how best to avoid chaos – or at least make the flight experience as stress-free as possible.

Avoid certain airlines

Figures obtained by the my news site suggest that flights booked with some airlines may be at greater risk of cancellation than others. The statistics, analyzed by travel data analyst Cirium, show Eurowings (Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary) had the highest overall percentage of canceled flights departing from UK airports in June, at 15.686%.

Eurowings was followed by Eastern Airways, Air France/KLM, easyJet, WizzAir and British Airways, which together canceled a total of 419 flights.

In contrast, Ryanair and TUI Airways, which canceled only 32 and 27 flights respectively and recorded the lowest cancellation percentages.

So if you have more than one carrier option to reach your destination, choosing which one you choose carefully could affect how closely your flight actually leaves the runway.

Avoid these airports

Data shows that not all airports are the same victims of the travel chaos, with some suffering much more disruption than others. According to Cirium and the i news site, the airports with the highest percentage of canceled departures between Easter and the end of June are Humberside (4.89%), Southampton (4.31%), London City (3.55%), Teeside (3.18%) and Gatwick and Bristol (both 2.58%).

“Some of the UK’s busiest airports – Heathrow, Manchester, Stansted and Luton – saw less than 2% of canceled flights, with Stansted recording just 0.24%,” the newspaper added.

Be careful with your schedules

It’s “a misconception that flying early is a good way to dodge the worst of airport queues,” he said. Euro news. The biggest queues at Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds Bradford airports are believed to occur in the early morning hours, between around 4am and 7am.

Back in June Leeds live said passengers had described Leeds Bradford Airport as being like a ‘theme park’ between 3am and 5am, when long queues could be seen outside the airport airport.

Figures from global travel data provider OAG show that up to 13% of all-day flights from one of the UK’s smaller airports depart between 6am and 7am.

So if you’re “looking to book a flight somewhere soon”, Euro News said, avoiding peak times by traveling at lunchtime “might be your best bet”.

Do the best in advance

Once your plane is booked and (hopefully) not cancelled, the the government recommends that you do as much “administration” as you can before arriving at the airport.

Check in online, if your airline allows it, as this means you can “go straight to airport security” when you arrive, if you don’t have any baggage to check.

Sort your hand luggage at home and place all liquids (maximum size 100ml) – including makeup, toiletries and hand sanitizer – in a clear resealable plastic bag.

Also prepare your boarding pass, as well as any Covid-19 documentation required by your destination. This will save you considerable time at the airport.

Stay home on certain days

It would be wise to avoid booking a flight on Friday July 29, which is currently “the busiest scheduled day for airline departures from UK airports”, the i news site reported. Heathrow is expected to be the busiest airport on that day, followed by Gatwick and then Manchester.

According to the i, Friday is usually the busiest day for departures, followed by Monday and Sunday. “Those looking for a last-minute escape who want to avoid pinch points should consider flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday,” the newspaper recommends.

Check your travel insurance

Publication of consumer rights Which? urged air travelers to “take a close look at their policy ahead of the expected summer disruptions”, particularly to see if they are covered in the event of industrial action, said the BBC.

According to Which?, four out of ten travel insurance policies offer no protection if flights are canceled due to strikes.

Anyone planning to fly this summer is urged to take a close look at the terms and conditions of their policy as soon as possible and plan accordingly if they are not covered.

Look at other options

“Despite the UK rail strikes, looking for alternative ways to travel could be an option if you haven’t booked your flights yet,” Euro News said. In general, the railways have been less affected by the recent travel chaos “and connections across Europe are improving rapidly”.

Rail travel is also a much greener option for vacationers. According Interrailthe european railway pass company, the train is “the most ecological means of transport” after walking and cycling, the train emitting between 66 and 75% less carbon than the car and the plane.

European destinations that are easy to visit by train from the UK include Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels, but almost all major cities can be reached by train.

Comments are closed.