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Brits warned as thousands of families are stranded at airports

Brits warned as thousands of families are stranded at airports

Over 1,200 flights were cancelled

Brits have been warned after thousands of families have been left stranded at airports following the UK's worst day of disruption to flying in over a decade.

Holiday-goers and travellers alike have been stranded with more than 200,000 affected by delays and cancellations.

The situation came about after a major outage hit Britain's air traffic control system resulting in the cancellation of more than 1,200 flights at the end of the bumper bank holiday weekend.

More than 200,000 passengers have been affected by delays and cancellations.
Craig Hastings / Getty Images

The 'network-wide' failure meant that controllers were left having to enter flight details manually which, in turn, led to significant delays with many passengers being stuck on grounded planes for hours on end.

Officials have not yet confirmed what caused the failure however government sources and aviation officials have revealed to The Times that a cyberattack has been ruled out.

While such passengers may be entitled to some money back for hotel or meal expenses from their airline, they will not be able to claim statutory compensation as the whole ordeal has been described as an 'extraordinary circumstance'.

The airport that suffered the most was London Heathrow, with 312 arrivals and departures, slightly ahead of London Gatwick with 300.

Other major airports affected by the network fault included Manchester which had 162 flights cancelled, London Stansted which saw 104 grounded, Edinburgh and Luton Airport which had 102 cancellations and the likes of Belfast International, Bristol and Birmingham airports all having more than 50 cancelled flights.

In a statement, the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), apologised for the disruption, saying: "We have identified and remedied the technical issue affecting our flight planning system this morning.

The National Air Traffic Services said it has 'remedied the technical issue'.
Craig Hastings / Getty Images

"Our engineers will be carefully monitoring the system’s performance as we return to normal operations.

"The flight planning issue affected the system’s ability to automatically process flight plans, meaning that flight plans had to be processed manually which cannot be done at the same volume, hence the requirement for traffic flow restrictions."

NATS later updated its initial statement to add: "It will take some time for flights to return to normal and we will continue to work with the airports and airlines to recover the situation.

"Our priority is always to ensure that every flight in the UK remains safe and we are sincerely sorry for the disruption this is causing. Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight."

While the outage has since been resolved it's likely to have a knock-on impact for days.

Heathrow Airport has confirmed its services will 'remain significantly disrupted', saying: "The issue has been resolved, however schedules remain significantly disrupted.

"If you are travelling on 29th August, please ensure you contact your airline before travelling to the airport."

Luton Airport said 'flights may be subject to delay or cancellation' while London Stansted said that while it planned to run a normal schedule today (29 August): "Our terminal may be busier than anticipated."

Talk about a chaotic end to the bank holiday weekend.

Featured Image Credit: izusek/GettyStockImages/Craig Hastings/GettyStockImages

Topics: UK News, Travel