Comment - Why sell airline tickets when you don't have the staff?

Travel chaos is ruining Platinum Jubilee long weekend getaways for thousands - what is not clear is why tickets were sold when airlines and airports didn't have the staff.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 5:39 pm

The industry says it was taken by surprise by government lifting restrictions earlier this year. People understandably flocked to go abroad, for some it was their first trip in two years.

But what is strange is why they could buy tickets when the industry was, apparently, a long way from being ready.

Cue massive queues at airports and hundreds of cancelled flights. It’s nothing short of a disaster that threatens to overshadow Her Majesty’s big event.

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The industry says it was taken by surprise by government lifting restrictions earlier this year.

For some, It's another nail in the coffin of air travel.

It used to be a glamorous affair. And even after they got rid of stainless steel cutlery and china plates it was still a special event. But the security clampdown after 911 turned travellers into virtual criminals. Then the budget airlines went further and treated us like cattle.

But the current chaos shows that delays are worse than poor treatment while cancellations are the very definition of failure.

In February last year, six northern airport bosses pleaded with government for help, claiming tens of thousands of jobs were on the line.

At the time, travel was five per cent of normal. Furloughed staff took the hint and either got new jobs or went back to their home countries.

Brexit made the UK pretty hostile to workers from the EU and finding new staff plus training and security checks can take weeks. There are warnings the problems could last all summer.

At this point those who booked a staycation are feeling pretty smug, perhaps with a dash of saving the planet on top.

But the really big winner could could be Doncaster Sheffield Airport which appears to have dodged the problems. People moan that ‘it doesn’t go anywhere’ and it’s expensive. But have you looked recently? And as for cost, it will always be cheaper than a flight that gets cancelled and then literally ‘doesn't go anywhere’.

It's also only half an hour’s drive from Sheffield and is a breeze compared to the horrors of Glossop. Plus it has the knock-on benefit of boosting our region not Manchester’s, of which I’m sure the monarch would approve.

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