The beginning of the summer travel season in Europe has been plagued by turmoil at airports and famous tourist sites as airlines, government agencies, and industry operators fight to fulfil travel demand, which, in some locations, has already exceeded 2019 levels.
The experts warn that the chaos is likely to become worse if more individuals opt to travel as a result of the recent decision by the Biden administration to eliminate the requirement for coronavirus testing prior to international aviation travel.
Over the course of the previous two weeks, hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed on a daily basis at major airport hubs in Europe. Passengers at Heathrow Airport in London and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam waited in security lines for up to six hours, while those waiting to check in overflowed out of the terminals into parking lots at both airports.
Eliza Glass, 28, who arrived at Heathrow earlier this month to find out that her trip to Toronto had been cancelled described the scene as “massive groups of bewildered and irritated individuals everywhere” and “there was no information.” After going around in circles for an hour, I finally gave up and simply sank down on my suitcase to cry.
Even while airports and airlines in the United States are dealing with labour shortages, inclement weather, and an increase in the number of instances of worker coronavirus, wait times, delays, and cancellations have not reached the same level. According to FlightAware, an aviation data site, airlines cancelled more than 2,800 flights over the Memorial Day weekend, and 20,644 flights were delayed. To help prevent further disruptions, a number of airlines, including Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and Spirit Airlines, are cutting back on their summer schedules.