Travel column with Katie Butler: Long queues at airports and business as usual for P&O Cruises

The demand for overseas holidays remains high as each week more and more restrictions are lifted.

By Jane Chippindale
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 1:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 8:00 am

Katie Butler writes: The airports are super busy and passenger numbers continue to increase weekly with demand for overseas travel bouncing back much quicker than anyone could have anticipated.

It is amazing to be handing out tickets on a daily basis and we have never had as many customers travelling out in March and April as we have this year.

We are certainly not complaining!

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P&O CRUISES: Business as usual for the cruise line. Photo: Getty Images

With the sudden and fast paced increase in demand, I am sure you will have seen articles in the news relating to long queues at the airports and even reports of travellers missing flights.

Ordinarily we would advise you to check in for your flight at least two hours prior to your departure time.

However, with queues at security at most airports longer than expected due to staffing levels, and on the advice of the airports, we recommend arriving three hours prior to your departure time.

If you are travelling on a morning flight with or Jet2holidays, then last week the company announced that the twilight check-in service has returned.

This means you can drop your bags off at your UK departure airport between 3-8pm the evening before your morning flight.

When you arrive at departures the next day, your luggage is already sorted!

If you live near the airport or are staying at a hotel close by, it will make your morning a little bit easier.

The twilight check-in is available at both Leeds Bradford Airport and Manchester Airport, along with several other regional airports.

This past week we have also taken a lot of phone calls from customers booked to travel on a P&O cruise, following on from the recent and shocking announcement from P&O Ferries and the sacking of more than 800 staff with plans to replace them with cheaper agency workers.

I can confirm that P&O cruises is and remains part of Carnival Corporation & PLC and as such is entirely unrelated in any way to P&O Ferries, which is owned by DP World.

If you have a cruise booked with P&O Cruises, then your holiday will go ahead as normal and will not be impacted.

P&O Cruises very quickly issued a statement on social media and their website reading: “As Britain’s favourite cruise line, your loyalty, advocacy and support has always meant the world to us.

“P&O Cruises has been part of Carnival Corporation and PLC for over 20 years and has no connection to P&O Ferries.

“Our thoughts go out to all those affected.

“However, please be assured it’s business as usual on our cruises and our crew look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.”

We are preparing ourselves now for the next school holidays.

There are still some great deals to be had for those of you who have not yet booked.

Late deals and last minute holidays remain extremely strong for us.

It certainly feels as though things are getting back to normal, at least for the here and now.

■ If you have a specific travel question you would like Katie to answer in her column, please email: [email protected]Read more: