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Why Airlines Are Wrong to Use the Excuse of “Knock on Effects” for a Flight Delay

Ryanair CabinPassengers faced a lot of flight commotion following a computer system failure at the air traffic control office in the UK recently. National Air Traffic Services or NATS reported that a technical issue had occurred in its Swanwick flight information system which had led to this problem. It is now rehabilitated to its original operational capacity, reported the air traffic management company.

The UK government called the disturbance as “unacceptable” and asked for a reasonable justification with regards to what went awry.

Flight delay reasons: Blame on knock-on effects

The air traffic disruption in question led to widespread problems at various airports all over the country. This included flight delays at Gatwick and Heathrow. The flights for departure were kept grounded for a certain period of time at these airports. There were also other airports that attributed the issues to flight “knock-on effects”.

Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary, was reported saying that any disturbance to the country’s aviation system is a crucial matter of concern, particularly at this busy time of the year. Commotion and delays at this time and on this scale are not acceptable at all and NATS must justify the disruption in flight services.

No excuse: Travellers suffer due to delays

Heathrow is a primary hub as far as international transfers are concerned. The impact of this disruption was felt beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. Over 67 million people use the airport for travel each year with almost 90 airlines serving them across 180 destinations.

The excuse of flight “knock-on effects”, indicating one flight delay leading to another is just not a good enough excuse for stranding passengers at airports in the middle of the holiday season. Deirdre Poole, a passenger stuck at the Heathrow airport was doubtful if she would be able to make it to her home in Geneva post the cancellation of her Swiss International Airlines flight.

She complained saying that the situation was absolutely ridiculous. It was reported that the knock-on effects were going to be horrible and messy.

NATS said that a detailed investigation was being executed to bring forth the actual cause of the disturbance. However, a complete recovery of all airline operations across the United Kingdom will take some time. Therefore it is advisable for passengers to get in touch with their airlines to get an update on their flight status at all times.

Commenting on the situation, Simon Calder, who is a stand-alone travel journalist, said that the incident left several thousand people stranded and upset. Also, there are aviation heads that are extremely angry as they do not have any accountability for this awful event. However, at the same time they have a huge responsibility to attend to the passengers and look after them which is going to cost them several million pounds.

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