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Summer holiday warning to Brits: 'Today's airport chaos nothing compared to what's coming'
26 June 2022, 18:20 | Updated: 26 June 2022, 18:35
Chaotic scenes at airports which have seen flight cancellations, huge delays and a woman fainting are just a taste of what faces British tourists this summer, an insider has claimed.
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Short-staffed companies in the aviation industry have caused havoc for people's holiday plans in recent weeks.
Angry social media users tweeted scenes from airports like Heathrow over the weekend, where one passenger claimed a woman had fainted as she waited in a long queue.
Much has been made of delays caused by baggage handling problems – and one worker has now revealed their inside view of the disruption.
They told The Times: "Passengers are waiting up to six hours for their bags. The other day I saw a cleaner driving the luggage trolley on the tarmac, unescorted, because there were not enough baggage handlers to do it.
"And if people think the delays are bad now, it is nothing compared to what is going to happen when children break up from school at the end of July and beginning of August."
The weekend brought another glimpse reminiscent of the last school holiday in May, as airlines scrapped flights and passengers endured huge delays.
Travellers have been left sleeping on floors in terminal buildings as they wait.
Businesses cut back on staff during the pandemic and are now struggling to meet the demand for trips abroad.
One Twitter user said a queue at Heathrow was a "disgrace".
"Just seen a lady pass out in the queue. What a mess," he said. Heathrow said that "due to the increase of passengers, Border Force are working hard to process passengers".
"Do speak to a member of staff should you have concerns," its Twitter account added.
Another branded Heathrow "a complete disorganised mess" on Saturday.
"Over an hour (and counting) waiting for a terminal bus transfer and the only solace is the fact that British Airways flights are seemingly always delayed," they wrote. Heathrow apologised and said it was in touch with its connections bus provider.
Now, strike action could enter the torrid mix.
Unions are angry at the firms because of pay, with GMB members now voting 91% in favour of industrial action, and Unite workers backing it by 94%.
It means 700 members of staff at Heathrow are set to walk out during the peak holiday season.
Alongside other potential action across sectors in the wake of the RMT's rail strikes, it has lead to fears that a summer of discontent is on the way for the UK.