<p>Long queues for the Eurostar at Gare Du Nord in Paris on Easter Monday  </p>

Long queues for the Eurostar at Gare Du Nord in Paris on Easter Monday

Travellers hit by ‘nightmare’ queues and cancelled flights in Easter Monday disruption

Eurostar passengers ‘upset’ and ‘restless’ as they face delays in Paris

Zoe Tidman,Simon Calder
Monday 18 April 2022 19:52
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Travellers have faced “nightmare” queues and cancelled flights as millions looked to return from bank holiday trips away.

Rail and air passengers have been hit by delays on Easter Monday as staff shortages, technology issues and planned engineering works caused more disruption on the final day of the long weekend.

Those travelling by car have also been warned they could face longer journeys than usual as more than 3 million people were forecast to hit the roads.

Travellers using the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle service from Calais to Folkestone have reported “chaos” with long traffic queues.

Others returning to the UK from Gare du Nord station in Paris faced delays after a border control IT failure stopped passengers from boarding trains on Monday morning.

Charlie Daffern from Cheltenham said: “It’s a nightmare here. We have been stood in the queue for check-in/security for over an hour and a half. Probably another hour to go.”

Hundreds of passengers queue during the Easter chaos

The 36-year-old added: “People are becoming very restless and some people panicking as they have flights to catch from Heathrow this afternoon.”

Loic Kreseski said “hundreds and hundreds” were in queues at the station on Easter Monday.

The 25-year-old said: “People are upset due to the delays and the fact that you have to stand still for hours. It’s very upsetting when we know the price of the tickets.”

Eurostar has been approached for comment.

Meanwhile, planned engineering works on the UK rail network also meant delays for travellers.

Network Rail said around 5 per cent of the railway would be affected by the hundreds of projects going on over the Easter weekend. This has included the four-day closure of the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes.

For those travelling by plane, staffing pressures have led to cancelled flights, diversions and long queues at airports on Monday.

More than 1,000 passengers due to touch down at Gatwick in the early hours of the morning had their flights diverted after the control tower was closed because of staff shortages caused by sickness.

One Wizz Air flight from Tel Aviv diverted to Doncaster, while several easyJet aircraft landed at East Midlands.

Passengers queue to check in for the Eurostar international rail service

A Gatwick airport spokesperson said: “A small number of late-night flights were delayed, cancelled or diverted due to staff sickness impacting the night shift in the airport’s control tower.

“Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers affected by this disruption. The control tower and the airport were operating again as normal from 5.30am.”

At least 20 flights between Scotland’s three biggest airports and London have been cancelled by British Airways and easyJet. Ten have been grounded to and from Glasgow, eight serving Edinburgh and two to and from Aberdeen.

British Airways has grounded a further 52 European departures to and from Heathrow, while easyJet has cancelled Gatwick services to and from Nice, Milan and Ibiza.

Both airlines blame high levels of staff sickness. Since the start of April, British Airways has cancelled more than 1,000 flights while easyJet has grounded more than 500.

Passengers at Manchester, Heathrow and Gatwick airports have also contended with long queues.

It came after weeks of chaos at UK airports involving lengthy waits and misplaced bags.

Those travelling by car were also warned of delays on Monday, with the RAC forecasting nearly 4 million drivers on the roads on Monday.

P&O Dover-Calais ferries have also been suspended across the whole Easter weekend.

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