Amid record cancellations and waiting times, Heathrow Airport’s CEO recently stated that it will take some time for things in the travel industry to return to order. He predicts the travel chaos could last until the end of 2023. While this opinion proved unpopular with key role players there is no denying that significant airports around Europe and America have plummeted into chaos just when post lockdown travel is surging. Delays, cancellations and lost luggage are the new normal and the primary reason for the turmoil is a lack of skilled and knowledgeable staff. The pandemic compelled many airlines to make radical staff cuts to survive.
Locally, the South African aviation space will also take time to adjust due to the loss of both Kulula and Comair airlines. Flight availability has been severely impacted and business travel planning is very challenging.
Here are some tips to avoid getting caught up in the chaos:
Plan your routes with the chaos in mind and stay informed:
- Wherever possible, opt for direct flights to your destination, which, although more expensive, will avoid additional stress in case of delays and cancellations.
- Stay up to date with flight changes, especially amid the current volatility.
- Check in online to avoid long queues and get to the airport early.
- Try to avoid major airport hubs, for example use Orly airport instead of Charles de Gaulle in Paris, etc.
Don’t make your luggage work against you:
- Travel with hand luggage where possible. It allows you to prevent lags at luggage retrieval belts. It also makes moving about the airport more manageable, but be ready for security checks everywhere.
- Ensure easy access to electronic devices so you can remove these from your hand luggage effortlessly if an official asks you to.
- Pack your toiletries, each under 100ml, in a separate transparent bag for onboard.
- Remove your belt, watch or jewelry, and take coins from your pockets before moving through metal detectors.
Having adequate travel insurance is another must to save you from losing all or part of the money spent on your flight tickets.
In the face of increased flight and fare changes, visa delays and stray luggage, it’s natural to want an expert at your side. Rennies BCD Travel is here to provide the support you need for your next business trip.
Here are the best ten airports in Europe for on-time departures (July 2022):
- Bergamo/Orio al Serio Airport (BGY)
- Bergamo, Italy
- 3% delayed, 1.0% canceled
- Gran Canaria Airport (LPA)
- Gran Canaria, Spain
- 8% delayed, 0.3% canceled
- Otopeni International Airport (OTP)
- Bucharest, Romania
- 10% delayed, 1.7% canceled
- Dublin International Airport (DUB)
- Dublin, Ireland
- 15% delayed, 1.6% canceled
- Fontanarossa Airport (CTA)
- Catania, Italy
- 16% delayed, 1.1% cancelled
- Adolfo Suarez-Barajas Airport (MAD)
- Madrid, Spain
- 19% delayed, 0.4% canceled
- Alicante Airport (ALC)
- Province of Alicante, Spain
- 20% delayed, 3.4% canceled
- Marseille Airport (MRS)
- Marseille, France
- 20% delayed, 2.0% canceled
- Orly Field (ORY)
- Paris, France
- 21% delayed, 1.2% canceled
- Malaga Airport (AGP)
- Malaga, Spain
- 24% delayed, 3.3% canceled