Thousands of easyJet passengers stranded as school half-term starts with flights cancelled & 3 hour lines at ferry ports

THOUSANDS of easyJet passengers have been stranded as half-term kicks off with flight cancellations and three-hour queues at ports.

Hundreds of flights were axed yesterday after an IT system failure caused all easyJet planes to be grounded.

Another 11 flights were cancelled this morning – with the total number of affected passengers hitting well over 30,000.

And queues at the Port of Dover stretched back for miles, with Brits waiting in line for up to three hours to board a ferry.

Airline easyJet blamed yesterday's chaos on an IT failure – with passengers complaining they faced missing their flights due to waiting hours at security.

Others were stranded abroad, with one woman raging that her mum was stranded in Turkey without anyone at the airport to help.

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Another mum said: "Flight cancelled as we were about to board with three children. Communication from easyJet zero.

"No staff at airport, no one answers calls and website down. You have ruined a once in a lifetime holiday."

P&O Ferries warned of "heavy traffic" at the ports today, with the firm urging all travellers to leave at least 2.5 hours to get through security.

A statement read: "If you are booked to travel today please allow at least 2.5 hours to clear all security checks.

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"Rest assured, if you miss your sailing, you'll be on the first available once at check-in."

Meanwhile at Gatwick, Bristol and Manchester airports – the worst-affected by the cancellations – huge queues stretched back as Brits battled to travel abroad.

It sparks chaos for families with half-term travel plans ahead of the Platinum Jubilee long-weekend next week.

And the roads will be no better, with 17.8million car trips expected for the weekend alone with hotspots on the M1 and M25.

The RAC issued a warning over congestion on motorways and major A roads.

Spokesman Rod Dennis said: "Major routes to holiday destinations will start to clog up".

He added: "Drivers can beat the worst of the queues by planning the time of their trips carefully.

"An early start is always best or, failing that, driving at dusk if that's a feasible option."

Mr Dennis also urged motorists to carry out pre-journey checks such as oil and coolant levels and tyre pressures to "cut the chances of becoming a breakdown statistic".

Meanwhile on the rails, the TransPennine Express (TPE) are urging people to not travel this weekend as only a small number of trains will be running.

The firm is expecting busier trains as Brits plan to flock to Liverpool if they win the Champions League.

They are expecting busier trains with people heading to Liverpool if they win the Champions League on Saturday night, and asking people to therefore seek alternative transport.

Travel expert Simon Calder told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "Passengers who woke up this morning, early flights to places like Milan and Mallorca, we've seen another 14 cancellations of flights to and from Gatwick Airport.


"That's on top of 200-plus flights cancelled because of the IT glitch yesterday which means a total of 30,000 easyJet passengers waking up this morning not where they wanted to be at all.

"Lots of pressure on finding seats and ways of getting people where they want to be.

"Not least there were some really long-haul cancellations – for example Belfast to Corfu, Liverpool to Dalaman, Gatwick to Hurghada in Egypt.

"So, the airline has to find an alternative flight or people will need to book themselves on other airlines.

"EasyJet really has to try to get you there, and of course pay for hotels and meals while you're waiting.

"On top of that, cash compensation."

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The airline initially claimed the situation was an "extraordinary circumstance" so passengers wouldn't be able to claim compensation, but later confirmed this was sent in error.

We've explained what you should do if you think you are owed compensation by a delayed or cancelled flight, and how to get it.

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