I’ve seen the airport chaos first hand over the summer and it’s the fault of airline bosses – plain and simple

Advice if you go on holiday and have to queue for hours or look for lost luggage.

Don’t take your frustration out on the frontline staff, they’re probably just as worn down as you are.

The bank holiday chaos we're seeing at UK airports is thanks to airline bosses - plain and simple

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The bank holiday chaos we’re seeing at UK airports is thanks to airline bosses – plain and simplePhoto credit: AFP

The chaos we see in airports is an epic failure of the highly paid management, who hide plain and simple in air-conditioned offices with plush carpets.

And that’s because while their salaries and bonuses still fund a lavish lifestyle, those whose contribution is vital to the smooth running of the travel industry have actually been treated very shabbily by many, not all, of their paymasters.

In an unprecedented move at the height of the summer rush, British Airways has announced it will suspend sales of Heathrow tickets to Europe for a week.

Why? The airline says it is being coerced into doing so by the Heathrow boss, while he says the “airlines’ “behaviour in relation to ground handling” has caused the chaos of long queues and mountains of baggage.

In other words: lack of staff.

It takes a chain of about 30 to 40 people to get a flight off on time — including check-in agents, border guards, baggage handlers, cleaners and cabin crew — and if just one of those components fails, the domino effect leads to delays and cancellations.

Having spent the past few weeks investigating what’s behind the airport chaos for Channel 4 broadcasts, it’s clear that many of the human cogs that turn those wheels in motion feel exhausted, underappreciated and underpaid.

Or as Rory Boland, travel editor of which? says: “The reason we have such significant disruption is that some airlines have laid off a lot of staff.

“And what I would say beyond that is that they didn’t just fire her, but the way they’re trying to get her back is very bad.

“The pay is bad, the working conditions are really difficult.”

Baggage handlers often work alone in shifts, some starting at 3am, for as little as £9.67 an hour.

Our undercover reporter, who works as a dispatcher at Manchester Airport, made it two weeks and was exhausted.

He said: “It was absolutely brutal and nobody gives them much credit.”

Swissport, which handles baggage for several airlines, has shed about half of its 6,000 staff during the pandemic, and given these conditions it’s perhaps no wonder they’re struggling to find new staff — despite hiring 4,100 since January.

Olivia Kerr worked for BA as a flight attendant for 22 years and “adored” the job.

She tells how during the pandemic she was told to take a 40 percent pay cut or be fired.

She says: “We were told we would be fired and reinstated. That was the deal.

“You would come in with £17,000 and all your terms and conditions would change… we had no idea what that meant, except it was a massive cut in finances, a massive change in working life.

“They just treated us with absolute contempt. . . treating ourselves as if we were disposable goods that have only one value [little] on an accountant page.”

She adds that she was fired when she turned down the new contract.

“She has since left the industry but is taking BA to an employment tribunal along with 49 others.

BA declined to comment on Olivia’s case but told us it was restructured to survive and most of the redundancies were voluntary despite £4billion in losses.

However, some airlines have managed to retain staff during the pandemic and are therefore doing relatively well when not let down by ground handling issues.

The same applies to the railway industry.

Yes, the strikes are frustrating for the rest of us trying to get to work, but it’s not just about money. It’s also about the erosion of workers’ rights and conditions.

EXHAUSTED AND UNDERPAID

The Avanti West Coast train staff told a friend of mine that they felt the company didn’t care about them and was only interested in profit.

Like so many airport and airline workers, they felt undervalued, mistreated, and disposable.

And who wants to get up every morning for a job like that?

No wonder many have taken better-paying jobs with more social hours elsewhere.

No one denies that the pandemic has been a tough time for the travel industry as a whole, but it’s hard not to conclude that some big hitters saw it as a good opportunity to lay off veteran workers with traditional labor rights in the hopes of they to rehire for less on lousy terms.

According to the World Economic Forum, the Great Reset is about making the future “healthier, fairer and more prosperous” after the pandemic.

Hmmm. Nice thought, but there seems to be another ‘great reset’ on the horizon and the government is either incompetently unaware or turning a blind eye.

Either way, it’s a big mistake.

The robots come and don’t have to pay, will never groan or be sick and will work all the hours that God has sent to help increase the profits of the various industries that have used the pandemic to protect their people’s rights willfully undermine workers, they will then happily dispose of.

And the result — also known as the false economy — will be hundreds of thousands who need a taxpayer-funded universal basic income to survive.

  • Airport Chaos Undercover: Dispatches can be found on Catch up in All 4.

WILL THE LOVERS SURVIVE?

AFTER a shaky start, this year’s Love Island was a corkscrew – with deserved winners for entertainment alone, Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti.

Jane predicts that Live Island's Tasha and Andrew are getting married

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Jane predicts that Live Island’s Tasha and Andrew are getting marriedPhoto credit: Rex

But when it comes to the runners and riders in “Will it last?” Stakes, here are my predictions:

  • Tasha and Andrew are getting married.
  • Ekin-Su and Davide will last a year or two but eventually break up.
  • Dami and Indiyah won’t last because he’s going to screw it up.
  • Gemma will leave Luca as soon as she realizes the nation didn’t love him as much as she thinks, but really doesn’t.

Mystic Moore? Or is Moore missing out? We will see.

Grass isn’t greener

One in ten homeowners in the UK has now given up their lawn for artificial grass (#metoo).

But while it may be green in color, it is ecologically taboo because it provides no food for living things and making the plastic for it emits carbon and uses fossil fuels.

But now, with a garden hose ban looming, maybe we can regain some credibility by pointing out that we never did


Identical twins Amy and Emma McMillan, below, have joined Nottinghamshire Police. Bringing a whole new meaning to the double vision noise test

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Identical twins Amy and Emma McMillan, below, have joined Nottinghamshire Police. Bringing a whole new meaning to the double vision noise testPhoto credit: SWNS


BEY MUST BECOME A WORD

BEYONCE likely has 387 advisors in its extensive and incredibly expensive entourage.

Why did one of Beyoncé's 387 advisors tell her not to use the word

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Why did one of Beyoncé’s 387 advisors tell her not to use the word “sp*z” on her new album?

So why one of them didn’t point out to her that it wasn’t wise to include the word “sp*z” – short for spastic – in a song is beyond me.

Especially since fellow singer Lizzo recently did it and had to change it. Moron.

off this time

I am now free for two weeks on a holiday that I first booked at the end of 2019 and have already rebooked five times.

See you here again on August 24th.

Or next week when my flight gets canceled again.

LAUREN IS PROOF THAT MEN CAN MULTITASK

According to one report, “all eyes were on Lauren Sanchez” as she and her Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dined in London this week.

Lauren Sanchez proves that men can pay attention to two things at the same time

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Lauren Sanchez proves that men can pay attention to two things at the same timeCredit: CH PICTURES

I bet they were.

Above all, one suspects, the male guests.

Finally, proof that men can pay attention to two things at the same time.

LIONESS IS MORE, COACH

LEGENDARY coach Anson Dorrance, now 71, coached several of the England Lionesses including manager Sarina Wiegman.

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Photo credit: Getty

He says: “When I first started coaching, I was really upset by this bizarre dichotomy that if a young boy has a competitive fire, he’s put on a pedestal – but if a woman is competitive, she’s suddenly sore, named B-word, like there’s something wrong with her.”

Quite.

So let’s hope our Euro champions’ competitive fire has finally put an end to such nonsense.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5916612/holiday-chaos-airline-bosses-staff/ I’ve seen the airport chaos first hand over the summer and it’s the fault of airline bosses – plain and simple

DevanCole

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