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Heathrow set for Easter travel chaos with 10-day strike to go ahead

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Heathrow set for Easter travel chaos with 10-day strike to go ahead

Holidaymakers are set to face chaos at Heathrow over Easter after safety staff voted to strike for 10 days.

The strike will have an effect on individuals flying out and in of Terminal 5 from March 31 to April 9 as 1,500 safety employees stroll out, together with those that perform checks on travellers and their baggage as they go via to departures.

British Airways passengers shall be worst affected as the terminal exclusively serves flights from the airline. The strikes organised by Unite the Union may even embrace campus safety guards who’re answerable for checking cargo throughout the airport.

Heathrow stated it will implement contingency plans in an effort to maintain elements of the airport open and operational. The Telegraph has contacted British Airways for remark.

It got here as passport staff announced a five-week strike in the run-up to the summer holidays, creating additional stress for travellers that mirrors the chaos seen last year.

Greater than 1,000 members of the Public and Business Companies (PCS) union working in passport places of work in England, Scotland and Wales will participate within the motion from April 3 to Could 5 over pay, jobs and situations.

These working in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough and Southport will stroll out from April 3 to Could 5 whereas these in Belfast will strike from April 7 to Could 5.

The union stated the motion was a “important escalation” of its long-running dispute, warning it was more likely to have a “important impression” on the supply of passports because the summer season approaches.

It comes as demand for international holidays has recovered to pre-pandemic ranges.

Two thirds of Britons are planning a international vacation within the subsequent month with greater than a 3rd (37 per cent) having already booked one, in accordance with a ballot of two,000 adults by the journey affiliation ABTA.

It’s now a yr since travellers needed to have a Covid check or full kinds with 62 per cent of these polled saying they’d been on a international vacation up to now 12 months.

Surge in demand for passports

It coincides with passport workplace bosses anticipating an identical surge in demand this yr as occurred final yr when travellers delayed renewing their paperwork throughout Covid. Some 360,000 individuals confronted longer waits than the conventional 10-week goal.

Passport workplace chiefs are drawing up contingency plans and should not altering their steerage that applicants can expect to get their documents back within 10 weeks.

Inside figures present the passport workplace processed greater than 1.67 million functions in January and February, of which 95.5 per cent had been processed inside three weeks and 99.5 per cent inside 10 weeks.

Mark Serwotka, the PCS normal secretary, stated: “This escalation of our motion has come about as a result of, in sharp distinction with different elements of the general public sector, ministers have failed to carry any significant talks with us, regardless of two large strikes and sustained, focused motion lasting six months.”

A Downing Road spokesman stated: “The House Workplace will work laborious to handle the impression of this strike motion to make sure they will nonetheless present the important service to the British public as you’d count on forward of forward of the summer season the place we absolutely acknowledge that many individuals will need to get away and benefit from the summer season with their household.

“So we’ll do every thing we will to mitigate the impression of the strikes.”

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