Sunday, July 21, 2024

Chaos at UK Airports as New Scanners Cause Major Delays for Passengers – Travel And Tour World

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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UK airports face significant delays this summer due to new security scanners and staff shortages. Prepare for long queues and know your rights.

Passengers traveling through UK airports this summer should brace themselves for long security queues and potential flight disruptions, as the implementation of new security scanners and ongoing staff shortages are causing significant delays. Travel expert Steve Reid from Air Travel Claim offers essential advice on how to navigate these challenges and understand passenger rights in case of missed flights.

To mitigate the risk of missing a flight due to security delays, passengers are advised to arrive at least two and a half hours before their flight’s departure. Some airlines may recommend arriving even earlier, so it is crucial to check specific guidelines from your airline. To support any claims for missed flights, keep evidence of your timely arrival, such as parking tickets or receipts from within the airport terminal.

The introduction of new security screening technology has led to confusion about hand luggage rules. Passengers should adhere to existing regulations: only liquids, pastes, and gels in containers up to 100ml are permitted in hand luggage, while items exceeding this limit must be checked in. Travel documents should be easily accessible, and passengers must comply with their airline’s cabin baggage allowance.

During security checks, keep liquids and gels in hand luggage unless otherwise instructed. Electrical items should also remain in hand luggage unless directed to remove them. To facilitate a smoother process, ensure all items are removed from pockets, including phones, keys, and coins, and remove belts, jackets, coats, jewelry, and wearable tech. Be prepared to remove your shoes if asked and inform security officers of any metal limbs or implants, ideally with a confirmation note from a GP.

Missing a flight due to security queues generally does not qualify for compensation from the airport or the airline. Airports do not have policies to reimburse passengers for missed flights due to security delays. Legal claims against airports, such as those based on ‘frustrated contract’ arguments, would likely require court action and incur significant costs.

Long queues at airline check-in desks and bag drops are the responsibility of the airline. Some airlines offer a night-before bag drop service, which can help alleviate stress on the day of departure. If passengers arrive on time as advised by the airline but miss their flight due to check-in delays, they may have grounds for a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, though this might also require court action.

Not all travel insurance policies cover missed departures due to long security queues. Policies typically cover extraordinary circumstances like severe weather or illness but may not include security delays. Passengers should review their insurance terms to ensure adequate coverage.

If you are about to miss your flight because of queues, seek assistance from airport staff immediately. Most airports will prioritize passengers close to departure times.

If you miss your flight despite arriving on time and due to long queues, contact your airline promptly. Some airlines may rebook you on the next available flight at no extra cost, though others might charge a rebooking fee. Additionally, passengers can reclaim the air passenger duty (APD) from HMRC for missed flights by writing to their airline, though an administration fee may apply.

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