Easter chaos continues with customs disruptions, canceled flights and ferries

Easter chaos continues with customs disruptions, canceled flights and ferries Source: Operation Brock

The chaos at the start of the Easter holidays continues with customs disruptions at ports and airports, canceled flights due to staff illnesses and continued fallout with P&O ferries still suspended following the dismissal of their staff.

The travel situation was described by some at the start of the Easter holidays as worse than at the start of Brexit, when there were long delays due to staff training and new checks and documents being put in place .

Canceled flights

Passengers were urged, as they have been doing all week, to get to the airport early, with major delays being reported at border checkpoints. Manchester Airport said passengers should allow at least 90 minutes longer than usual for check-in with long queues reported at most airline counters and security checks.

Flights are also being canceled at most airports, with staff illness still hampering some airlines’ ability to provide full service. The situation appears to be worse at major airports, with Heathrow the most affected.

Passengers are again advised to check flights before leaving for the airport, in order to have more time to get to and through the airport. They are also advised to ensure they have the correct documents to hand when registering, as this will help speed up the process, as some countries such as Spain have recently changed their entry requirements. To visit sth fpr updated information, including confirmation of the change tonight that unvaccinated travelers cannot visit Spain.

Ferries canceled

P&O Ferries remain out of service after the fiasco involving the sacking of seagoing staff and the resulting safety issues. This means around a third of the ferries operating out of Dover remain out of service, adding significantly to the port’s woes.

It is understood that there are also significant delays at border posts and technical problems encountered with the IT systems used to register documents after Brexit.

Although the situation in Dover is poor, it is understood that non-commercial traffic is close to normal, with authorities saying they handled 30,000 departing passengers last weekend, almost three times the number in 2021.

All ferry companies, however, said they were operating at full capacity and fully booked until at least Monday.

Massive truck queues

It is estimated that there are more than 2,000 lorries stranded approaching the port of Dover, with customs issues and fewer ferries available causing long delays.

Operation Brock, implemented by the Highways Agency and other authorities, continues to manage commercial vehicle traffic but would cause significant traffic problems across the area with some diversions still in place.

Spain’s main transport association, Fenadismer, said: “Drivers have to remain stuck inside trucks, without being able to access adequate resting places or minimum hygiene and sanitary conditions.” They added that the situation was as bad, if not worse, than when the new port controls were introduced in December 2020 after Brexit.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), trade with the EU has almost returned to pre-Brexit levels, further exacerbating capacity problems at the port.

Travel news is not what passengers or lorry drivers eager to get home want to hear at the start of the Easter holiday with customs disruptions, canceled flights and ferries.

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