Heathrow insists check-ins ‘worked well’ amid anniversary chaos |  Heathrow . Airport

Heathrow insists check-ins ‘worked well’ amid anniversary chaos | Heathrow . Airport

Heathrow insists check-ins ‘worked well’ amid anniversary chaos |  Heathrow . Airport

Heathrow has insisted that the check-in process “worked generally well” in May, despite the chaos at UK airports during the six-month holidays, after the busiest month since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK’s largest airport said on Monday that with more air travelers checking in online, 90% of passengers passed through security in less than 10 minutes in May.

Heathrow said no more short-term flights were canceled than on a typical day and Border Force “performed well” throughout the month.

Vacationers who got away during the anniversary holiday faced long queues and canceled flights as the airline industry struggled to cope with staff shortages and passenger numbers plummeted to pre-pandemic levels.

Other airports, including Gatwick and Manchester, appeared to be experiencing the greatest disruption. But Heathrow customers complained that they had to queue for hours at passport control starting the weekend before the holiday.

Heathrow said it had worked with Border Force to keep queues to a minimum following an influx of passengers into Terminal 3’s immigration hall.

Heathrow said resources were “limited”, but it worked to “match supply and demand”, which had made all the difference over Easter and the biannual holidays.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “I am extremely proud of the way my team has worked with airlines and other partners to ensure passengers escaped during the anniversary period.

“We continue to make good progress on our plans to increase capacity and are working closely with airlines and the government to balance supply and demand as we grow so passengers can travel with confidence to Heathrow this summer.”

Airports and airlines faced widespread anger from vacationers after flight delays and canceled flights.

Heathrow said its plan to “maintain a high level of passenger service” was justified by criticism from other airports.

The company said: “The last thing passengers want is a discounted rate plan leading to the canceled holidays, stress and ‘hassle’ at other airports. We urge the Civil Aviation Authority to protect service and resilience levels, boost investment and maintain affordable private financing.”

It said the initiatives could be achieved through a 2% increase in ticket prices.

Some of the thousands of people whose flights were canceled or delayed during the half-term during the chaos have been told they will not receive compensation.

Heathrow said passenger numbers were 79% of pre-coronavirus levels in May as 5.3 million people passed through West London airport – the busiest month since March 2020.

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While that was about a fifth lower than the May 2019 total, it represents an almost eightfold increase from May last year when the UK’s Covid-19 travel restrictions were in place.

Terminal 4, which was closed due to the virus crisis, will reopen on Tuesday before the summer peak. It will initially be used by 30 airlines.

Nearly 2 million passengers traveled from Heathrow to the EU in May, while 1.4 million went to North America. Flights to the Middle East were also popular.