Further flight chaos looms for British holidaymakers as airlines approach timeslots deadline

Image of an aircraft taking off. Credit: Ian Schofield/Shutterstock.com

As the amnesty deadline of July 8 approaches, airlines must decide whether or not to return timeslots at airports.

Further chaos is looming on the horizon for the thousands of British holidaymakers planning to travel abroad this summer, according to a report today, Sunday, July 3, by dailystar.co.uk. Friday, July 8 is the deadline that the government gave to airlines that enables them to announce flight cancellations and change schedules without being penalised.

Basically, this amnesty allows airline companies to change, or cancel, existing flight schedules. Holidaymakers who have already paid for flights can subsequently find themselves being informed that their flight no longer exists and that they are not entitled to any compensation.

This scheme will eliminate the chaos seen at airports across the country earlier this year that resulted in thousands of British families being left stranded, airline bosses have claimed. Travellers are now able to change their travel plans in advance with this system they insisted.

Airlines have until the deadline date of July 8 to return any slots they are not going to operate. Once these slots are relinquished, the thinking behind it is that other airlines can then step in and secure them.

“Carriers must surrender their slots to other airlines if they are unable to fulfil them”, explained Rory Boland, a travel expert. “This will help reduce cancellations, and end the unsustainable practice of airlines flying near-empty planes to retain slots”, he detailed.

British Airways are predicted to be one of the main companies to hand slots in from its Heathrow Airport allocation. A BA spokesperson assured it would “protect more holiday flights. He added: “It will make it easier to consolidate some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance”.

The dilemma facing Brits hoping to travel anyway is that several airlines have already started strike action. Ryanair and Easyjet have both suffered from industrial action being called by unions in Spain representing cabin crew. These have seriously disrupted flights in and out of Spanish airports during the last six days.

Ryanair faces another 12 days of industrial action in its Spanish bases through July after the two unions involved made an announcement yesterday, Saturday, July 2. Spain is a major summer destination for British holidaymakers, so one can only hope that a resolution to the strikes can be found soon. 

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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