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
Dramatic GoPro video shows backpacker Alexander Hennessy warding off armed robber in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Best Place To Be Today shows 365 of the world's most amazing places - and the perfect time to visit them
El Caminito del Rey
Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
Best airports for a layover
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...