Holiday plans thrown into jeopardy as EasyJet cancels hundreds of flights from London Gatwick

  • ITV Meridian's Malcolm Shaw reports on the disruption at Gatwick.

A couple from Chichester say their honeymoon has been left in doubt as they wait to see whether or not they are one of thousands of people whose flights are cancelled.

EasyJet is cancelling more than 200 flights over the next 10 days - as transport disruption hampers the outset of the half-term break.

The airline said the cancellations would affect about 24 flights per day from Gatwick Airport between May 28 and June 6.

Mark Doherty and his wife got married last June, and postponed their honeymoon to the Greek island of Zante, booked with EasyJet. The airline allowed the couple to change their flight to October, but the couple were forced to cancel because they tested positive for Covid.

The couple booked again for June 1 this year, but have since discovered their long-awaited break could be in doubt as more and more passengers discover their holiday plans ahve changed.

"Because we had a 5:40am flight, we booked a hotel for the night before. And now we just don't know where we stand, Mark said.

"If they let us know it's cancelled too late - we can't change it. At what point are we going to find out whether this flight goes ahead - it's ridiculous.

How could they not have accommodated for staff shortages during the pandemic. We've had two and a half years of uncertainty, and now thousands of EasyJet customers are affected. All they are doing is issuing an apology, which doesn't mean anything."

An EasyJet plane takes off from London Gatwick. Credit: PA

Laura Dand from Lewes in Sussex is due to fly to Seville tomorrow morning with her daughters Arabella and Henrietta for three days.

Her flight is booked for 10:25am on Sunday, and hasn't had any news of a cancellation, but has told ITV Meridian the uncertainty is making her anxious.

"It is a special holiday, because we are visiting an old friend, and it's the first time I'm taking the girls away on their own, so we're looking forward to it, and we'd be disappointed if it was cancelled, particularly last minute.

"I don't know what arrangements we could make for getting out there.

"It's not something you'd expect when you pay out a lot of money to travel, so it would make me question flying with EasyJet in the future."

Passengers enter departures at Gatwick Airport. Credit: PA

A spokeswoman for EasyJet said in a statement: “We have taken the decision to make advance cancellations of around 24 Gatwick flights per day starting from tomorrow 28 May until 6 June.

“We are very sorry for the late notice of some of these cancellations and inconvenience caused for customers booked on these flights, however we believe this is necessary to provide reliable services over this busy period.

“Customers are being informed from today (Friday) and provided with the option to rebook their flight or receive a refund and can apply for compensation in line with regulations.”

“Over the next week we will be operating around 1700 flights per day, with around a quarter of these operating to and from Gatwick.”

In a statement, a Gatwick Airports spokesperson said: “Any flight cancellations and disruption to passengers is regrettable.

“The airport is operating normally today but will be busy today with over 700 flights and 110,000 passengers.

"We continue to advise passengers to arrive at the airport as soon as check-in opens for their flight. Typically, this is 3 hours for long-haul and 2-2 ½ for short-haul.”