Weather and strike action disrupt Easter holidays travel

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BAD weather and industrial action are set to disrupt the plans of some of the tens of thousands of people travelling to and from Jersey over the next ten days.

With schools breaking up today for the Easter holidays, both the Harbour and Airport will be extremely busy – with an estimated 50,000 passengers passing through the Airport between now and Easter Monday.

And some of those with scheduled trips using British Airways’ route to London Heathrow have been forced to amend or cancel their plans as a result of strike action by Heathrow baggage handlers.

A total of six flights on the route in each direction have been cancelled over the first nine days of April, including the afternoon services tomorrow and on Sunday, as well as the early-morning return trip on Monday.

Several Islanders contacted the JEP to express their frustration. Lisa McMahon said the cost of her weekend break in London had been increased by £210 as a result of having to buy a new return flight with easyJet in order to be able to be back for work on Monday, while Pip Gambles said she had to pay for an extra hotel night in order to attend an Elton John concert in London that had been twice delayed as a result of the singer being injured in an accident and the Covid pandemic.

A BA statement said: ‘Following Heathrow’s requirement for us to reduce the number of passengers travelling during the period of its employees’ proposed strike action, we’ve regrettably had to make a small number of adjustments to our schedule.

‘We’ve apologised to customers whose travel plans have been affected and have offered them a range of options, including rebooking onto a new flight with us or another airline, or requesting a full refund.’

Meanwhile, strong winds of force six or seven – with gusts to force eight – have had a significant impact on ferry services, with Condor cancelling today’s services to Poole, Guernsey and St Malo, as well as the morning boat to St Malo tomorrow and tonight’s Commodore Clipper sailing to Portsmouth.

Winds are forecast to ease on Saturday afternoon, with Condor adding extra sailings on the Portsmouth and St Malo routes on Sunday.

Ports of Jersey is reminding departing air passengers to allow longer than usual for their journey through the Airport in the coming days as the Easter get-away begins.

A spokesperson said more than 50,000 passengers were expected to travel in and out of the Airport between today and 10 April and that with a large number of flights, many departing within minutes of each other, passengers should leave plenty of time to check in their luggage and clear security.

Those needing to book special assistance are advised to contact their airline before travelling, while all passengers have been recommended to check baggage rules with their airlines.

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