Father pleads with Gatwick Airport and British Airways over flight cancellations

The Tolonen family are due to fly to Greece at the end of July. Credit: Tuomo Tolonen

A father of two from Essex is pleading with Gatwick Airport and airlines to give travellers more notice of flight cancellations.

Tuomo Tolonen, 44, from Galleywood, near Chelmsford, is due to fly to Greece with his wife and two sons in late July.

The family are booked to fly with British Airways, but Tuomo says the last minute delays and cancellations are unfair to passengers."It's a holiday we've been looking forward to given the last two years of not really being able to do much.

"This would be the first proper holiday since the pandemic, and of course everyone is looking forward to it.

"We had made greater than usual plans because of the circumstances, we want to go to Greece and create memories for the kids.

"The kids are at an age where we won't have many of this type of summer holiday all together for much longer, so really looking forward to it.

"When I read about the changes that Gatwick is going to make this summer, I mean how early in advance are they going to let travellers know?

"Because while it would be disappointing in any case to have a cancellation, I'd prefer to find out now with five weeks to go, even though making an alternative plan may be impossible, it gives me that window to make some kind of plan."

The family are due to fly from Gatwick Airport with British Airways. Credit: PA

It comes as Gatwick Airport announced its reducing the number of daily flights during July and August to help tackle staffing issues.

The airport is planning to limit its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August, compared to a reported 900 daily flights during the same time period in previous years.

It follows weeks of disruption with flight cancellations across the country leaving many passengers stranded abroad.

The combination of the half-term school holiday and the four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend led to major delays at airports including Gatwick and Heathrow.

One family with young children were stranded in Turkey after easyJet cancelled their flight home.

Jamie Hurst and Chloe Dowsett were meant to fly home on Saturday, June 4, but were not able to travel until the following Saturday.

The delay meant the family missed a week's worth of work and school.

Tuomo said: "I can't imagine anything more heartbreaking than to go to the airport on the morning of your flight, and somehow having to try and explain to your kids it's been cancelled and you're not going anywhere.

"I'm asking the question of Gatwick and British Airways, when you do announce the cancellations how soon in advance are you going to let us know so we have a tiny bit of hope to make alternative plans."

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