Airport checks: Delays hit start of summer getaway amid security confusion
Four out of the first 10 easyJet and British Airways departures from Gatwick were delayed by up to an hour
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 11 July 2014
As the school summer holidays get under way for some, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year began with flight delays and confusion about complex new security rules.
Some easyJet and British Airways passengers from Gatwick faced delays on the first wave of flights. For both airlines, four out of the first 10 departures from Gatwick this morning were delayed by up to an hour, including flights to Venice, Bordeaux and Nice.
Departures from the UK’s other three big airports – Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester – were operating normally. However, BA passengers from Baltimore arrived 20 hours late and last night’s Frankfurt-Heathrow arrival is now scheduled for this afternoon.
Eurocontrol in Brussels warned of “moderate to high delays” for flights to the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini and Skiathos because of a lack of capacity. There were also airspace restrictions in western France and Cyprus.
Passengers making a summer getaway face the possibility of a second security check at the departures gate. Following an alert about a terrorist plot to plant explosives in consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablet computers or laptops, the Department for Transport this week warned all international passengers: “Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device doesn’t switch on when requested, you won’t be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft.” The DfT specifies that all flights to and from the UK could be affected.
Video: UK's Transport Secretary explains the new security measures
Both Heathrow and Gatwick echo the warning on the front page of their websites. But at Manchester airport, passengers are told the concern is restricted to transatlantic flights. The airport’s website says: “If you’re flying to the USA please ensure electrical devices are charged and capable of being switched on.”
Early Heathrow flights were operating normally Edinburgh airport makes no reference to the new rules, saying only: “Passengers travelling to the United States should expect their airline to carry out additional security checks prior to boarding.” A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said: “Security staff continue to maintain high levels of vigilance at all times and ensure that current security measures are implemented fully and conscientiously. These include screening and checking electronic devices.”
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The 10 Best flea markets
The most powerful passports in the world
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...