Travellers to Europe Face Delays and Cancelations as Airports Struggle to Cope

Travelers heading to Europe this summer should prepare for potential airport chaos as staff shortages, caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, lead to delayed flights, lost luggage, and long queues. Experts suggest measures to alleviate the situation and ensure a smoother travel experience.

Foreign travellers especially British nationals planning to travel to Europe this summer should brace themselves for potential travel difficulties as airports grapple with staff shortages caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Delayed flights, lost luggage, and extensive queues are expected to be common challenges faced by a lot of international travellers.

Staff Shortages Impede Smooth Operations

Airport workers have expressed their concerns, emphasizing that the situation will persist until the government recognizes the importance of revitalizing the aviation industry. They argue that higher wages should be offered, considering the rising cost of living.

A lack of skilled workers, which cannot be replaced overnight, was highlighted as a short-sighted consequence of job cuts that occurred during the pandemic.


Recruitment and Security Clearance Challenges

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, pointed out that recruiting and obtaining security clearance for airport workers is a time-consuming process that cannot be accomplished overnight.

He emphasized the need for airports to enhance their wage offers and be better prepared for surges in demand to alleviate the current staff shortage issue.

Flight Traffic Concerns and Passport Validity

Eurocontrol, the agency responsible for safeguarding European airspace, has also cautioned about potential flight traffic issues this summer due to ongoing military needs and the conflict in Ukraine.

Moreover, British travellers have been advised to carefully check the validity of their passports before boarding flights.


A minimum of six months validity after the visit and a maximum passport age of ten years are required. Renewal applications may be necessary for passports lacking the required validity, which can take up to ten weeks to process.

Additional Fees and Travel Pre-Screening

Starting next year, British citizens will be subjected to an extra fee for travel to certain European countries outside of the EU. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will implement pre-screening procedures to enhance security checks for those travelling to Schengen countries.

Booking early morning flights is recommended to minimize the likelihood of delays caused by backlog issues. Strikes and protests across Europe may also disrupt travel plans throughout the summer.

The Importance of EU Travel Insurance

To mitigate potential inconveniences, travellers are strongly advised to purchase EU travel insurance. This insurance coverage can help minimize financial losses in the event of any disruptions or unforeseen circumstances.


As British nationals embark on their journeys to Europe this summer, they should remain prepared for possible airport chaos and take necessary precautions to ensure a smoother travel experience.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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