Shropshire Star

Holidaymakers left stranded abroad as air traffic control chaos eases

A former West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner is among those stranded abroad due to a severe air traffic glitch.

Last updated
Former deputy PCC, Waheed Saleem, was among those trapped abroad due to the traffic control glitch

The long delays and changing schedule times following a major air traffic glitch have led to thousands being stranded in the UK or abroad.

The glitch that plagued the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) brought air travel into and out of the UK to a standstill as airports across the nation worked tirelessly to figure out how to fix the issues.

Waheed Saleem, the former West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, was among those affected by the delays, being stuck in Istanbul after British Airways (BA) cancelled his 8.15pm flight to Heathrow on Monday, August 28.

On Twitter, Mr Saleem wrote to BA: "Hi I'm in Istanbul due to travel today at 20.15 to London. It says delayed until 6.21 tomorrow."

The former PCC announced that he had finally caught his heavily disrupted 5pm flight to London's Heathrow Airport from Istanbul at around 9pm yesterday.

NATS confirmed yesterday afternoon that the issues had been "identified and remedied", however, flights are still expected to see heavy delays as flights and schedules return to normal.

James Steers has been stranded in Amsterdam after travelling to the Netherlands for an extra long anniversary weekend with his wife.

James said: "It's definitely not the ending that we expected. It's been a bit stressful, it's taken us out of my original budget for the trip and we had to stay near the airport as we had checked out of our hotel room.

"We had a good time though, we stayed at a cafe and had a walk around. We understand that it's frustrating but we tried not to worry about it all."

The couple safely made it back to the UK following the disruptions.

Analysis of flight data websites shows at least 281 flights – including departures and arrivals – were cancelled on Tuesday at the UK’s six busiest airports.

This consisted of 75 at Gatwick, 74 at Heathrow, 63 at Manchester, 28 at Stansted, 23 at Luton and 18 at Edinburgh.

Many other flights were significantly delayed.

Birmingham Airport recommends checking travel times before arriving at the airport, just in case of schedule changes