Gatwick Airport chaos as passengers complain of being locked in STAIRWELL & late flights | The Sun

TRAVEL chaos has continued at Gatwick airport today, with passengers complaining of lengthy queues, missing transport and even being locked in a stairwell.

The airport has been the site of a number of issues throughout the summer, with thousands of flights cancelled or delayed.

Daily flights have been capped at 825 in July and 850 in August – compared to 900 a day during the same period in previous years.

It means as many as 4,000 flights will be scrapped at the UK's second-busiest airport – ruining the summer plans of an estimated 800,000 people.

Those who have managed to at least get to the airport have had their own problems to deal with.

One passenger complained of being stuck in a stairwell as she waited for her flight.

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Passenger Debbie Shipley shared three pictures on Twitter of the wait for her flight, which included a stint on the stairs, as she and others tried to board their flight.

She wrote: "Good work @easyJet, @Gatwick_Airport 2 hour delay to finally get moving all the way to be locked into a…. staircase with no plane or bus in sight."

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A representative for Gatwick responded to her complaint, apologising for the delay, but suggested it was the airline's fault for their wait on the stairs.

They wrote: "I'm sorry your airline experienced a delay with boarding. I hope you weren't kept waiting too long."

When asked why Debbie had been made to sit in a stairwell, Gatwick responded: "I'm really sorry but you would need to ask your airline this question as they are responsible for this."

Another passenger, Stephanie Bosset described her experience at the airport as an "an abject travel nightmare" after she was made to wait more than an hour to disembark her aircraft.

She wrote: "We landed 40 min ago and still can’t disembark. We have to wait another 30 min for the buses to the terminal. We’re all going to miss the one train that wasn’t cancelled (and the last one). Unbelievable."

Stephanie wasn't the only passenger waiting for airport shuttle transport either.

Sophie Lain complained of there being no transport to take her from the terminal to her plane, despite the flight crew and passengers being ready to set off.

Instead, she sat on the floor for two hours waiting to depart.

She wrote: "@Gatwick_Airport the plane is ready, the @easyJet crew are waiting for us, but you have no buses to take us from the gate to the plane, so we’ve been sitting on the floor for nearly 2 hours."

Gatwick again reached out to apologise to the passenger, saying: "I'm really sorry for these difficulties. I hope you won't be kept waiting much longer."

Meanwhile, Michael Crotty complained of there being no hand sanitiser in any of the 20 dispensers in the south terminal, while another passenger complained of having to wait two hours to receive their luggage after landing.

They wrote: "@Gatwick_Airport still waiting a hour and no luggage!!! No working vending machines or facilities.. Just an embarrassing mess."

A Gatwick spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We apologise to passengers who may have had to wait longer than usual to be coached to/from aircraft last night.

"Unfortunately this was caused by a combined shortage of both ground handlers and coach drivers, due to staff sickness.”

An easyJet spokesperson told Sun Travel: “easyJet experienced some disruption to its Gatwick flying programme last night due to a combination of issues impacting the operation, including ground handling and airport coaching delays due to staff sickness which led to some crew reaching their legally permitted operating hours and some flights to be impacted by airport curfews. 

"We are very sorry to affected customers for the difficulty this will have caused and we have provided customers on cancelled flights with options to rebook or receive a refund as well as hotel accommodation and meals where required.”

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Heathrow has also had huge problems, with 10,000 passengers affected by cancellations today alone.

Meanwhile, the worst airports for cancellations have also been revealed.

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