The summer of 2022 will likely be known for the travel chaos that has hit the UK. As the average price of petrol has risen to 188.7 pa litre, railway workers on strike for better pay and conditions mean many are locked out by the rail companies.
That’s before we get to the airport queues and flight cancellations that characterize mid-term getaways. Just yesterday easyJet announced it was cutting even more flights by September due to staffing levels.
But is the travel chaos that currently forms the backdrop to our lives – and, for some, causes real disruption – confined to the UK? The short answer is no, says the Telegraph.
Many of the issues that are said to affect our infrastructure don’t just affect us. The war in Ukraine and the subsequent fuel crisis, as well as the consequences of the pandemic on employment, reverberated across Europe.
In a breakdown of European destinations, they reported that travel chaos translates all too well across the continent. Five Telegraph correspondents gave a breakdown of the situation where they are.
France has higher fuel prices – well over €2 (£1.72) a litre, but almost €2.50 (£2.16) on the motorways. Canceled flights have also caused some problems, notes their correspondent, “Air France/KLM far from being innocent in this respect”.
In Spain, petrol prices are also high – around €2.15 (£1.85) – leading to a lorry strike in March and April causing supply problems. Flights, however, do not appear to be affected.
Driving in the Netherlands has become more expensive due to rising fuel prices – the correspondent quotes between €2.45 and €2.62 (£2.20 to £2.25) per litre. In Amsterdam, Schiphol – the third busiest airport in the world – was hit by a staff shortage earlier in the year.
The Telegraph correspondent mentions reports of six-hour queues, staff fainting from overwork and rebellion by passengers. Anecdotally, wait times of up to two hours are still considered normal.
It should also be noted that the new round of cancellations from easyJet announced yesterday also hit Schiphol. And train cancellations are said to be more common due to staff shortages.
Germany has experienced similar problems to the UK in terms of staff shortages, strikes and flight cancellations. In response to soaring fuel prices, a deeply discounted rail pass valid for trains throughout Germany was introduced – leading to overcrowding.
Around 900 Lufthansa flights are due to be canceled in Germany next month, while subsidiaries Eurowings and Swiss are also reducing flights. Regarding staff shortages at airports, the government has stepped in to ask for more recruitment and change the problem, which could help. On German forecourts, fuel costs around €2.20 a liter (£1.89).
The Swedes saw Manchester Airport chaos at their biggest airport, Stockholm Arlanda, last week, the Telegraph reports. The incident sparked promises of an additional terminal and urgent hiring of additional staff.
On top of that, around 1,000 pilots from Nordic airline SAS are due to strike later this month, according to their correspondent. Train conductors are also thin on the ground, with cancellations forestalled. On the roads, a liter of petrol costs 24.14 crowns (£1.94).