Summer holidays leaving two UK airports ‘face chaos and cancellations this week’

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Flights are set to be plunged into chaos over the next week with airlines offered an amnesty if they have to announce cancellations.

Huge disruption could see journeys scheduled over the school holidays never take off as government officials tell airline companies they can change their schedules without facing any penalty up until this Friday (June 8).

It means companies have the right to tell holidaymakers their summer flight is cancelled, without having to pay out any compensation.

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The news is another blow to sun-seeking Brits who have breaks planned over the coming months, following previous mayhem at airports throughout the UK for thousands of travellers.

But airlines claimed it will help customers to change their plans in advance and said it will prevent the last-minute cancellations that left families around Britain stranded at airports earlier this year.

British Airways flights from Heathrow Airport are likely to be one of the main departures targeted as they hand back slots they’re not able to fill.

Despite the widespread scrapping of planned flights, a spokesperson for the airline giant promised it would “protect more holiday flights”.

They said it will make it "easier to consolidate some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance”.

Although large numbers of flights planned for summer will be abandoned in the coming week, officials hope the amnesty will allow rival airlines to step in and fill cancelled slots.

Travel expert Rory Boland explained: "Carriers must surrender their slots to other airlines if they are unable to fulfil them.

“This will help reduce cancellations and end the unsustainable practice of airlines flying near-empty planes to retain slots."

Unfortunately for Brits, even if planned flights make it through this week’s cull, they could still fall victim to plans for strike action and staff shortages because of Covid cases.

Hundreds of workers in the industry have already voted in favour of strike action throughout July and staffing levels are still much lower than needed to operate airlines successfully.

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