Heathrow Airport: Are there delays, how long will I have to queue for security & has my flight been cancelled?

Huge queues of people were seen at Heathrow Airport, London on Tuesday as millions jet off to spend the long Platinum Jubilee weekend in warmer climes.

There was “chaos” in Heathrow Airport on Tuesday morning as people had to spend a significantly longer time than is usually required to move through security.

Thousands of wouldbe travellers described the experience at Heathrow as “disgraceful”.

“Took one hour to get through security,” said one man.

“Absolute chaos. Why am I security checked when I was checked in New York. I’m a British citizen and can’t get into my own country.

“Disgraceful service from Heathrow Airport.”

This is what we know about delays and security queues at Heathrow Airport today.

Are there delays and queues?

There are reports of some passengers having to wait more than an hour to get through security.

One frustrated traveller took a photo of the queue he was waiting in and tweeted it directly to the official Heathrow Airport Twitter account.

“I would really like a coffee & breakfast before my flight. Instead 45 mins in the security line with no end in sight!,” said the man.

Heathrow Airport responded to the man saying: “Good morning Ian, we’re sorry to see this.

“Please be assured our terminal colleagues are working hard to process passengers and offer support as we aim to reduce delays. Thank you for your patience.”

Passengers contacted Heathrow Airport numerous times throughout Tuesday and on each occasion the airport said it was unable to say how long the queues might last.

An American couple who regularly use Heathrow Airport to travel between the USA and the UK said the queues were like nothing they had ever seen before.

What is causing the queues?

Some of the biggest airlines made a significant number of staff redundant during the pandemic. However, what makes this situation a perfect storm is that the staff shortages become even more acute in the context of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and half-term happening at the same time.

It’s anticipated that this current level of travel disruption could be the norm for weeks to come.

Airlines and airports have started a recruitment drive however it takes on average five weeks to train staff and put them into positions designed to stop the long queues and waiting times to make it through airport security.

Could it get worse?

Heathrow Airport and other UK airports are stepping up their recruitment drives but things could go from bad to worse at Heathrow after it was announced on Tuesday that check-in staff are to be balloted to strike over a pay dispute.

The industrial action ballot, covering about 500 staff, will open on 7 June and close on 27 June.

If the workers vote in favour of a strike it would take place in July, which is traditionally the busiest month of the year for people going on foreign holidays.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “British Airways used the cover of COVID to brutally cut members’ pay.

“BA has now reversed the pay cuts imposed on management but refuses to do this for our members.

“This is disgraceful. Unite will not allow our members to be treated as a second-class workforce.”

How do I know if my flight has been cancelled?

British Airways has said it will be cancelling more flights but insists they give all their customers plenty of notice before doing so.

Perhaps the best and most straightforward way to check the status of your flight is log on to the airline’s official website and enter your flight reference number and this will show you the most up-to-date status.