Pilot helps load suitcases onto plane in Edinburgh amid UK travel chaos

Pilot helps load suitcases onto plane in Edinburgh amid UK travel chaos

A frustrated pilot has taken matters into his own hands amid chaotic scenes at an airport as borders open and travel resumes.

This is the moment a frustrated pilot helped load baggage onto his plane in Edinburgh amid a summer of travel chaos across Britain.

There have been shambolic scenes at UK airports for weeks, with some passengers not telling their holidays had been canceled until after they arrived at terminals.

And after facing delays to take off, one captain stepped out of the cockpit to help load travellers’ bags on a plane from Scottish capital Edinburgh to Zurich, Switzerland.

Elsewhere, dramatic photos have shown hundreds of bags dumped at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 in London as exhausted tourists were told to head home without their belongings, The Sun reports.

Problems at the UK’s busiest airport began on Friday, with bosses blaming a baggage system malfunction which they called a “technical glitch”.

The backlog has since caused a “carpet of luggage”, with suitcases abandoned on floors at the airport during the start of the UK’s busy summer travel period.

Customers have been warned they may not get their bags back for days.

A spokesperson admitted there is “ongoing disruption”.

And the situation will likely persist for weeks to come after the airport cut passenger capacity by a third until July in a bid to stem the flow of people passing through its terminals.

Without putting measures in place, its buildings would not be safe, chiefs warn.

“We unreservedly apologize for the technical issues with our baggage systems that have impacted passengers this weekend,” they said.

“We are working around the clock with airlines to reunite passengers with their bags as quickly as possible.

“There may be some lingering disruption from [Friday’s] technical baggage issues and we ask passengers to check with their airlines before traveling to the airport.”

Flightmare at Stansted

Huge queues also built at Stansted in northeast London on Sunday, with passengers forced to sleep on floors overnight as flights were delayed by more than six hours.

Irish budget carrier Ryanair is one of the main airlines to fly in and out of the busy airport, but customers have complained of poor service and whopping queues.

One would-be traveler said their flight was due to depart at 5pm last night, but was still waiting to depart after 11pm.

Another said the situation at 3am was like a “shootout”, with “no rules” and “bodies scattered all over the floor”.

Officials at Stansted said 38,000 people are expected to depart from the airport today, while average queue times between 4am and 7am were around 12 minutes.

However, the problems have been exacerbated with canceled Stansted Express trains and staff sickness.

Gatwick Airport announced this week it would cancel 4000 flights this summer.

Daily flights will be capped at 825 in July and 850 in August – compared to 900 a day during the same period in previous years.

It means an estimated 80,000 people will have their summer plans ruined.

easyJet and British Airways are among the companies to ax many short-haul flights from the hub.

Summer of travel discontent

The UK’s travel disarray led to tragedy earlier this week, when a disabled man left waiting on a plane fell to his death in Gatwick’s North Terminal.

Meanwhile, Manchester Airport urged passengers to arrive even earlier following disruption and long security queues.

It comes as Brit travelers face a “summer of discontent”, with national rail strikes and petrol hitting $3.53 a litre.

Many airlines let staff go during the pandemic, when there was a drop in passenger numbers.

However, with restrictions at an end, airports and travel companies are struggling to deal with a surge of business.

Industry figures have blamed the UK government, calling on ministers to offer more support so problems don’t stretch on into the summer.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, warned it will take 12 to 18 months before the industry can get its capacity back to pre-pandemic levels.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has put pressure on airports to increase the pay of workers including baggage handlers.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “If you look at baggage handlers, for example, I don’t think they’ve had the best deals and the best packages in the past.

“I think we’ve got to make those jobs worthwhile, well-paid and comfortable jobs to do.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission

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