Flights: ‘Travel chaos’ as easyJet staff prepare to strike for 17 days at Stansted Aiport

easyJet customers at Stansted Airport could be set to face travel chaos this month as check-in staff go on strike. This is the latest travel advice. A total of 17 days of strike action have been proposed, Unite the union has said. Unite represents 43 passenger service agents employed by Stobart Aviation Services Limited, which has the easyJet contract at the Essex airport. The check-in staff are demanding better pay and voted unanimously to strike over the company’s refusal to pay wages in line with similar companies at Stansted, Unite has claimed.

The strike dates are 25 to 29 July; 2 to 5 August; 9 to 12 August; 16 to 19 August; and 23 to 27 August.

Unite has warned the strikes will cause “severe disruption” to thousands of passengers as Britons prepare to head off on their summer holidays.

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “There is no getting away from it; these 17 days of strike action will cause severe disruption to thousands of easyJet passengers using Stansted for their summer holidays.

“A major bone of contention is that workers employed by other companies at Stansted are being paid up to 20 per cent more for doing the same job.

“But our Stobart members experience staffing issues, a lack of basics such as drinking water during their long shifts and many other smaller but none the less important issues that are ignored due to not having proper trade union recognition.

“It is no wonder there is a massive turnover of staff at Stobart Aviation Services, as they feel undervalued and are paid dismally.”

Barter added: “Any strike would also hit easyJet’s profit margins in a competitive marketplace with passengers now seeking alternative travel arrangements to avoid potential travel chaos at Stansted.”

He continued: “However, there is a window of opportunity for the management to sit down with Unite and hold constructive talks to resolve this strike before the travel chaos kicks in on 25 July.

“Unite’s door is always open for such negotiations, but there does have to be a genuine attempt from Stobart’s to address our members’ concerns rather than simply stalling for time.”

easyJet have said that contingency arrangements will be in place to minimise the impact on passengers should the strike take place.

An easyJet spokesman told “We are aware dates have been published for proposed industrial action by Stobart Aviation check in staff at London Stansted Airport.

“Should this go ahead we plan to have contingency arrangements in place so there should be no impact on our passengers.

“Despite this we would urge Stobart Aviation and Unite to reach a suitable resolution as soon as possible.”

If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to a strike, passengers are not entitled to compensation. This is because EU regulation deems such industrial action as beyond the airlines’ control.

However, the airline does have to make food and refreshments available and organise alternative transport for affected customers.

Consumer company Which? analysed 10 million flights from the last five years to reveal which airline has the most delayed flights, and easyJet came in the top three alongside Ryanair and Thomas Cook. 

The worst offender of all was revealed to be Thomas Cook’s route from London Stansted to Dalaman in Turkey.

Passengers flying this route experienced more delays than any other departing from or arriving at a UK airport in 2018.


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