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Gatwick criticised for how it dealt with Christmas Eve chaos

A report into the chaos on Christmas Eve at Gatwick airport after flooding caused a power failure suggests the disruption should be a wake-up call to other airports.

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Gatwick criticised for how it dealt with power cut

Gatwick Airport has been criticised for how it dealt with a power cut on Christmas Eve Credit: PA

A report into the chaos at Gatwick airport on Christmas Eve should be 'a wake-up call for airports across the UK' in dealing with disruption.

More than 11,000 passengers were affected by delays and cancellations after flooding caused a power failure at the airport.

A report into the problems looked at what passengers were not happy with, which included:

  • Lack of clarity about who was in charge

  • A lack of basic facilities, such as toilets and drinking water

  • Confusion about what expenses passengers could be reimbursed for, particularly if alternative flights had been arranged

Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Committee said, "Many staff at Gatwick, working for the airport, the airlines, and other operators such as the baggage handlers, worked extremely hard to keep flights operating on Christmas Eve and to look after passengers.

"But the problems that unfolded were not new and the whole event should be a wake-up call for airports across the UK to improve their operational resilience.

"Airports must ensure that their contingency planning is good enough to ensure that future disruption will be met with well-drilled arrangements that are familiar to airline operators, airlines and other contractors, and which put passenger interests first."

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