Holidaymakers are set to face travel chaos at airports during the summer break this year, with both Ryanair pilots and Heathrow workers set to go on strike.
Many flights in the lead-up to the August Bank Holiday are likely to be cancelled, with industrial action scheduled from August 22 to 24.
The period is expected to be among the busiest of the year for airports in the UK, with the last Bank Holiday weekend of 2019 kicking off on August 24.
It comes as Ryanair’s £135,000-a-year-pilots voted for a series of strikes lasting from August 22 to 23 in a dispute over pay and conditions.
Meanwhile Heathrow workers are scheduled to walk out on August 23 and 24 in a similar salary dispute.
Queues at Heathrow Terminal 5 this morning after a computer glitch saw many flights cancelled on Wednesday. The airport is bound to see similar chaos later this summer
A passenger takes a nap inside Heathrow’s Terminal 5 as the airport continues to recover from a crippling IT glitch that affected all BA flights yesterday
Airline passengers experienced a taste of the disruption to come yesterday after an IT glitch saw more than 400 British Airways flights cancelled or delayed.
At the same time, passengers are still facing the threat of a strike by British Airways pilots.
Their union is still locked in talks with the carrier over a pay dispute that could yet trigger a walkout later this month.
The summer holiday woes are set to continue past the Bank Holiday too, with Ryanair’s pilots also set for industrial action from September 2 to 4.
The action is a setback for Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, which recently said it had resolved a dispute with pilots and crew that led to a series of strikes last year.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) voted by 4 to 1 to back a campaign of action on a 72 per cent turnout.
Ryanair pilots are not paid as much as their counterparts at BA, but the operator has previously said those operating from London Stansted earn around £135,000 a year.
Chief among concerns for pilots are pensions, maternity benefits and the need for a ‘fair transparent and consistent pay structure.’
Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair compliment of pilots are set to participate in strikes lasting from August 22 to 23 in a dispute over pay and conditions
Airline passengers experienced a taste of the disruption to come yesterday after an IT glitch saw more than 400 British Airways flights cancelled or delayed
Balpa previously said it had made detailed demands to Ryanair for improvements to pay and working conditions but that the airline had refused to table a counter-offer.
The continuing dispute comes at a challenging time for the low-cost airline, which announced a series of job cuts last week.
Chief Executive Michael O’Leary made the comments in an internal video to staff following the release of financial results for the three months to June 30.
Mr O’Leary told its staff it has 500 more pilots and 400 more cabin crew than required and job losses will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ryanair reported a 21 per cent fall in profits to £219million in the first quarter of this financial year.
The low-cost airline cited lower fares and higher costs for fuel and staff as reasons for the decline during the three months to the end of June.
The continuing dispute comes at a challenging time for the low-cost airline, which announced a series of job cuts last week
‘BA’s glory days are well behind it’: Ex-British Airways chief says airline is now ‘no better than easyJet’ after 12-hour IT glitch sparks 127 flight cancellations and an £8m compensation bill for 20,000 passengers
By Joe Middleton and Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter for MailOnline
An ex-British Airways chief has said the airline is now ‘no better than easyJet’ after a 12-hour IT meltdown that has sparked 127 flight cancellations and an £8million compensation bill for 20,000 passengers.
The airline was branded ‘pathetic’ today after customers at Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle airports were told to ‘go home’ and reschedule after its check-in system collapsed again at 4.30am.
David Burnside, the former head of public affairs at BA from 1984 to 1994 ,who is due to fly with the airline later today from Heathrow, said ‘domestically BA is no better than easyJet.’
He said: ‘It feels like the wheels are coming off at BA. It’s still a top 20 international airline but in the 1980s BA was right at the top.
‘It’s glory days are well behind it. Domestically, BA is no better than easyJet and the other low-cost airlines, but BA isn’t low cost.’
Darren Rowe was among the passengers queuing at Heathrow Airport today where he described the situation as ‘chaos let loose’ and said BA’s response to the crisis was ‘pathetic’
At Gatwick people were unable to check-in with many told to go home and rebook on a new flight in the coming six days
The IT crash – the third in recent weeks – led to 127 cancellations and another 300 delays with BA unable to rule out ‘knock-on operational disruption’ could run into tomorrow.
BA denied it was a global IT outage but passengers across Europe and as far afield as Japan, India and the US were also grounded.
The airline faces a compensation bill in excess of £8million if all those affected claim what they are entitled to under EU rules as all 20,000 victims were promised a new flight by next Tuesday.
A spokesman said: ‘We have resolved the temporary systems issue from this morning which affected a number of our flights today. We apologise to all our customers caught up in the disruption, and appreciate how frustrating their experience has been. Our flights are returning to normal, however there may be some knock-on operational disruption as a result of the issue earlier’.
BA rolled out its ‘cost effective’ IT system in October 2015 – but since its launch it has caused a host of problems costing the company more than £100million and tarnishing its reputation.
An upset, and delayed, mother with young children demands answers from a member of BA staff at Heathrow T5 today
A young boy sleeps while leaning on a suitcase in Heathrow Terminal 5 today during another day of chaos for BA
BA’s latest IT failure – the third in recent weeks – has already led to 127 cancellations (pictured on Heathrow’s check-in boards) and led to more than 300 other delays at British airports and abroad
Architect Allan Ross says he been forced to spend £880 on new Ryanair tickets from Stansted after BA scrapped his Heathrow journey and only offered him a replacement flight later this week – meaning he’d miss a family wedding.
He told MailOnline: ‘We were not notified before we got to the airport. There was nobody giving any information.
‘We grabbed a BA rep who told us to queue with 200 people. Five minutes later we were told to leave the airport and given a brochure about flight cancellation.
Family off to Barcelona only told their flight was cancelled AFTER they went through security
Furious bank manager Simon Chapman, 43, was due to travel from Heathrow to Barcelona with his children Violette, 14, and 11-year-old Jack.
He paid £350 for their tickets on the 9.25am flight – only to realise it had been cancelled after they went through security.
Mr Chapman then had to fork out £160 on a taxi from Heathrow to Gatwick, spending a total of £900 on flights and travel just today.
And staggeringly he was then told by workers they were not listed on the 2.40pm flight – after queuing for an hour and a half.
Mr Chapman, of Reading, Berks, said: ‘It’s unbelievable really. I booked this back in April.
‘We’d got through security and it was only by chance I looked at the information board and it said our flight was cancelled.
‘There were no more flights to Barcelona from Heathrow, so Gatwick was the closest place to book from.
‘I was told by BA staff at Heathrow to re-book and they would reimburse me, so I did.
‘Then when we got here, and after queuing for ages, they told me we’re not even on the flight.
‘I’ve forked out £900 more than I needed to spend and I’m not even seeing anything for it.
‘I just hope we get there today. I think there’s going to be a delay on the flight.’
Mr Chapman said he has also spent 200 euros on day trips while away, including a tour of FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.
‘We were referred back to the BA website which again was down, the phone numbers were jammed and we had no option but to book another flight from Stansted a few hours later, as we are attending family wedding and just needed to get there’.
Today the airline apologised for the chaos and revealed it has already been forced to cancel 117 flights to or from Heathrow while 10 Gatwick flights were also shelved with a giant digital sign used to tell victims to ‘go home’ because short haul check-in is closed before Midday.
Darren Rowe, from the Cotswolds, said his 10.20am flight to Hamburg from Heathrow for business meetings was cancelled before ‘all chaos let loose’.
He said: ‘There were massive queues, it was queue here, queue there, nobody was saying anything. The lack of information was just pathetic’.
On top of the 127 cancellations more than 300 other flights were delayed, with some more than five hours behind schedule and problems expected all day.
Lines of people stuck at Gatwick and Heathrow check-in snaked around terminal buildings with James North, who is due to fly to Heraklion, Crete, today telling MailOnline: ‘It’s not the world favourite airline – it’s now the world biggest airline queue’.
Customers were also stuck at London City, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and other BA hubs in Britain – but passengers across Europe as well as in Japan, India and the US were also hit by delays or cancellations.
Irate passengers took to social media to vent their fury and revealed their dream family summer holidays and even their weddings could now be in ruins with many vowing ‘never to fly BA again’.
Parents with children also claimed they were treated ‘like cattle’ after being left stuck inside airport gates without access to food or water with no clue about if and when they could leave.
Matt Knopp wrote: ‘BA – wtf? Flight cancelled due to continuous system issues you seem totally inept to sort out for the past three years. Get a f**king grip!’
The IT failure – the third similar problem for BA in recent weeks – has stopped people getting away on holiday or even for their own weddings as many flights were either delayed or cancelled.
Laura Izzard tweeted: ‘What’s happening with the Pisa BA604 flight from Heathrow, screen just says please wait… no one can tell us anything …. Little stressed at the moment, especially as I am flying over to get married’.
Stephen Gibbons posted a photo of the cabin of a grounded jet meant to be flying from Scotland to London today and said: ‘Been stuck on the ground in Glasgow for an hour now. People finally just walking off the plane’.
And Cris Penfold wrote: ‘Sat on a @British_Airways plane which won’t take off – the crew don’t even know why. No idea when we will actually fly #pleasejusttakeoff #sortitout’.
There was chaos at Heathrow (pictured) and other BA hubs today as its IT systems failed again leaving 20,000 stranded
People complained of having to join queue after queue as they were checked in ‘manually’ for flights this afternoon
There was similar chaos at Gatwick where holidays and business trips were left in ruins with delays of in excess of five hours