David Lammy latest to be caught in travel chaos at Heathrow

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Passengers queue for flights at Heathrow Airport on June 8 (Ben Smith/PA) (PA Wire)
Passengers queue for flights at Heathrow Airport on June 8 (Ben Smith/PA) (PA Wire)

London MP David Lammy has become the latest to fall victim of the travel chaos many Britons are experiencing across the UK’s airports.

In a tweet on Friday morning, the Tottenham MP said he returned from a work visit to be caught in a large queue at passport control at Heathrow Airport.

He said: “Arriving from work in Afghanistan this morning at 7am. Priti Patel has achieved the longest passport control queue I have ever seen at Heathrow.

“A warm welcome home to fellow citizens and visitors alike. Another feather in her cap. Well done.”

The Standard has learnt some minor issues were reported at E-gates in terminal two on Friday morning while Covid certification for some flights has caused longer queues.

On Friday, British Airways cancelled 110 short-haul flights to and from Heathrow amid the ongoing crisis within the industry.

Both Gatwick and Heathrow have experienced travel disruption over the last few weeks as passenger numbers have ramped up.

The cause of the disruption has largely been driven by the number of roles which were cut during the pandemic.

According to industry body, Airlines UK, some 30,000 jobs have been cut across all airlines since the start of the pandemic while thousands have been cut across airport support staff roles.

The UK’s departure from the EU has also hindered the ability to recruit staff from the continent while strikes in countries such as Italy and France have also disrupted flight schedules.

easyJet confirmed 80 flight cancellations on Sunday before a further 13 were called off just 24 hours later, while the airline said it expects to cancel approximately 30 flights a day amid ongoing challenges in the sector.

A letter obtained by The i revealed the easyJet branch of the French SNPL pilots union warned of a “frightening scenario” in the coming weeks as passenger numbers continue to increase.

The letter, obtained by The i, read: “Literally hundreds of employees in distress have fed back how chaotic our operations have become recently, to unprecedented levels.

“We are actually convinced that our disruption hasn’t even peaked yet and frankly this is a frightening prospect.”

Airlines are also struggling to recruit new workers and have their security checks processed while Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accused firms of overselling flights.

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