Is travel chaos the new normal?Back to Forum
Paris CDG workers gearing up for strike action after yesterday’s strike (see above).
This morning Gate 7 reports one in five flights cancelled.
CDG union calling for a strike next weekend. [FR]
— Gate 7 (@Gate7tweet) July 2, 20222 Jul 2022
For any sixth-freedom airline punctuality is paramount.
So at LHR a couple of days ago a photo appeared on Twitter showing KLM pilots helping unload the baggage.
— Menno Swart (@MennoSwart) June 30, 20222 Jul 2022
I truly hope the current chaos isn’t here to stay although as another poster noted, there aren’t many signs of a solution.
Last week I flew NCL – AMS – IBZ with KL, on a combined work/leisure trip (the joys of hybrid working options). KL were a delight to fly with and AMS was easy to transfer through. Ground handling at IBZ was a disaster. They had so few baggage staff that IB pax were being told to leave the airport and make a claim online since there were 4- 6 hour delays in getting offloaded bags onto belts. All other airlines shared a single other desk operated by Groundforce. About half of the bags from the KL flight were delivered when the belt stopped. We waited for 25 minutes because no-one could get anywhere near the Groundforce desk. At this point a manager (a very harassed manager!) walked by and told us all KL bags had been delivered, anything not on the belt was still in AMS. Most other pax seemed to be travelling with kids and became agitated at this point. The queue for Groundforce was about 60 deep so I decided to try and log a claim online rather than queue up. At this point, I noticed a fellow pax walking along the baggage conveyor belt. He was trying to gain access to the secure area behind the delivery door – he’d noticed bags stacked up behind the door. He forced the door open (no alarm sounded, no security attended) and saw stacks of bags from the KL flight dumped there – clearly baggage staff had closed the door and stopped the belt too early. Most of us found our bags – had we listened to the manager, we’d have filed missing bag claims for bags that weren’t missing.
Part 2 of the chaos for my return trip. I had the misfortune of transferring through CDG yesterday, 2nd July. I had booked IBZ – AMS – NCL with KL, only to receive a rerouting to IBZ – CDG – NCL a couple of weeks ago. I tried to change this as I have made it a personal and professional policy to avoid CDG at all costs…I’ve transferred through there four times in the past, each time it’s been deeply unpleasant. No luck on this occasion and so I was stuck with the routing. Air France pax have access to the Cap des Falco VIP Lounge in IBZ; unfortunately, the lounge allows passengers to pay for entry and it was full to capacity. Several of my fellow AF pax tried to gain access but the lounge staff decided to allow 7 paying passengers to skip the queue, then closed it due to capacity.
At CDG, it took us 45 minutes to transfer from 2G to 2E and reach the AF lounge near the K-gates. We still had 1 hour before departure so I was cautiously optimistic that this transfer would be better than my past experiences. The AF lounge was ok, but problems started at the gate. There were around 12 pax from the lounge on the CDG – NCL flight and we left when the departure screens moving to boarding status. The gate was less than 5 minutes’ walk away but when we arrived the gate staff had closed it. When we arrived the AF agent became aggressive and angry. He shouted at us that we’d “all been cancelled” and we need to learn how to get to the gate on time. Some of the more seasoned AF travellers tried to engage with the agent, who became enraged and started shouting more loudly. Their colleague was sneering at us and shaking her head. It struck me that these two employees were genuinely angry and losing control of themselves…maybe the pressure of streams of angry pax is taking their toll. We were allowed to board after some considerable fuss and after sitting another 20 minutes another 5 pax boarded, who had been on very tight connections. I dread to think the abuse these pax encountered from the gate team.
The inflight service was excellent, significantly better than I’ve had with BA’s Club Europe on recent flights. I was mistaken to think the rude staff at CDG were the end of the transfer problem – on landing at NCL, around 10 checked bags were delivered, with 32 pax still waiting. The Swissport agent made an announcement to say there were no more checked bags to be delivered and we’d all need to file PIR claims. It was a frustrating experience – some pax became verbally abusive to the agent, who threatened to call the police unless they calmed down. One pax who had shouted at him returned to apologise and said this was her 5th recent flight with AF and the 5th time they’d failed to deliver her bag. The situation wasn’t helped by the Swissport agent falsifying information – he was making odd claims such as that all bags had missed their connection because of short transfer times in CDG and they’d be on the next AF CDG – NCL flight in the morning. At this point, some pax pointed out they’d started their journey at CDG and had no connections. This flummoxed the Swissport agent who stopped offering information at this point.
I’ve had an idiotic e-mail from AF this morning, promising nothing and suggesting I call KL baggage staff in AMS (?!) if I need to speak to someone. The lost bag is registered on the World Tracer system, but it simply shows the bag as missing. IATA’s Resolution 753 requires airlines to track bags more accurately and at key points during the journey, but I don’t know if they must release this information to pax? BA have mishandled my bag many times in the past, so I know the key is to be patient but the culmination of the problems on both of these trips has been especially maddening.
Just sharing my own experiences and frustrations is cathartic, thanks to the original poster of the ‘chaos thread’, I’m glad Wideroe at least tried to make amends with you! Happy travels everyone.3 Jul 2022
Given the numerous stories and articles about the travel problems, maybe it is not to surprising to see more and more articles suggesting air travel this summer is just not worth it and that people should stay at home. Maybe good advice until you see what a UK holiday will cost !3 Jul 2022
At this point, I noticed a fellow pax walking along the baggage conveyor belt. He was trying to gain access to the secure area behind the delivery door – he’d noticed bags stacked up behind the door. He forced the door open (no alarm sounded, no security attended) and saw stacks of bags from the KL flight dumped there – clearly baggage staff had closed the door and stopped the belt too early. Most of us found our bags – had we listened to the manager, we’d have filed missing bag claims for bags that weren’t missing.
It’s so easy for the airline or handling agents to say your bags are somewhere else, but the above does make you wonder….
Currently I try not check any bags in. On the odd occasion (when travelling with a +1) I use a GEGO bag tracker which will tell me exactly where my bag is. Otherwise, I keep clothes in storage at the regular hotels I use and any toiletries are bought from supermarkets close to the hotels. I accept this may not work for the leisure traveller.
1 user thanked author for this post.3 Jul 2022
UK Speeds Up Checks for New Airport Workers Amid Travel Chaos
Not so good news…
Union vows to oppose using night flights to ease travel chaos3 Jul 2022
British Airways cancelling July flights for 105,000 holidaymakers
Britain’s biggest airline to axe more than 650 flights from Heathrow and Gatwick in order to avoid repeat of last month’s travel chaos5 Jul 2022
Can I seek fellow posters’ advice please.
I had a trip to Vigo from Heathrow via Madrid bought through BA. My return flight from Madrid to Heathrow on 30/6 was cancelled and I was notified of this early on 30/6.
BA could not get me on a flight home until 1/7 as all remaining flights were full for the rest of 30/6.
I have submitted a claim for my hotel cost to BA as advised by BA.
Where do I stand on EU261 as the cancelled flight was operated by BA but I’m led to believe it was cancelled on the instructions of LHR due to airport capacity problems.
This suggests the cancellation was out with BA’s control and therefore an “exceptional circumstance”. Any thoughts please?5 Jul 2022
Your analysis is correct (I believe). BA will say it was out of its control.
I was on a cancelled flight with Easyjet recently from Gatwick. It was a day of widespread disruption because of a problem at Swanwick ATC.
My flight was cancelled because the aircraft had an issue. My claim under EU261 was paid out.
Those in exactly the same situation who were cancelled because of ATC issues did not succeed in their claims.
1 user thanked author for this post.5 Jul 2022
The Times is reporting that a further 785 flights departing from Heathrow will be cancelled this month and 186 flights departing from Gatwick
British Airways cancels hundreds of flights from London airports
Disruption at Heathrow and Gatwick will affect hundreds of thousands of tourists
1 user thanked author for this post.5 Jul 2022
Heathrow warns travel chaos will last until 2026 as regulator cuts landing fees
Civil Aviation Authority orders airport to reduce charges levied on passengers
So that clown Holland-Kaye is still dangling his begging bowl then? “Get everyone moving” he kept saying….then Heathrow fell over.5 Jul 2022
Given BA’s cancellation of more flights resulting in fewer seats being available, what are the chances of BA extending the validity of Companion Vouchers beyond September 2023? Zero I suppose. I have 3 which will expire then but with little chance to use them since the reduced number of flights mean full flights and, anyway, given my recent experience I am reluctant to fly anywhere just now if I don’t have to.6 Jul 2022
Given all the bad news about flying at the moment let me just counterbalance this with my experience this week.
My wife and I flew to Rome on Sunday (three days ago) with BA, at 0700 from T5: bag drop to entering the Departure lounge was just minutes and subsequently the flight left the gate exactly on time, and landed at FCO early. We were through FCO and into a taxi to our hotel (with our checked bags) in about 15 minutes from leaving the plane – no delay at any point.
We returned last night. FCO was a zoo at the checkin desks – except for BA: the Business Class desk was completely empty and we spent a few minutes chatting to the lovely young lady there until another passenger arrived. It took about 5 minutes to pass through security and passport control, to enter the shopping mall (aka a departure lounge). Our flight left on time, arrived a few minutes early at T5 and the passengers on our flight were the only ones in the transit train and the Border Control hall, whwre it took just a few seconds for everyone to go through. Our bags arrived on the luggage belt within 2 minutes of our arrival at the belt.
The only problem (yesterday) was with taxis. There is a two-day taxi strike in Rome and it cost us 120 Euros to hire a limo to get to FCO (instead of the fixed price 50 Euros by taxi) and our taxi home at LHR was 10 minutes late as we were too quickly through for the driver!6 Jul 2022
Given the numerous stories and articles about the travel problems, maybe it is not to surprising to see more and more articles suggesting air travel this summer is just not worth it and that people should stay at home. Maybe good advice until you see what a UK holiday will cost !
Agree with CatheyLoyalist2. While essential travel cannot be postponed, but for holiday people shall take advantage of so many other ways of travel and go for short distance holiday.
For me, even driving 200-300 km, to a new place and relaxing there for a few days will be preferable than airport chaos. However, as I posted earlier, air travel is reasonably okay at many parts of the world.6 Jul 2022