We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

London, United...
5 posts
Save Topic
missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

On 20 December 2016 my family of four (me, my partner our 4-year-old twin boys), and three other families travelling with small children had to be escorted back through Gatwick passport control and customs as a result of our all having missed our flights. Three of us were with Easy Jet and one with Air Lingus.

Like others, we had arrived at the airport two hours before scheduled take-off as advised, and we entered the family section of security control over an hour before departure. We were held up in the family section for over an hour - there were only a couple of staff on duty there, and only one scanner, but maybe 30-40 families were in the queue in front of us. Once inside the “family” section of security control, we were unable to turn back, and found ourselves stuck alongside lots of other families

We made it through with 25 minutes to spare before our flight left. But because of Easy Jet’s strict arrangements for closing the gate 30 minutes before departure the flight gate was not even listed on the boards. We had to wait for half an hour for airport officials to escort us back to the other side of security / passport control and then a further hour to get back to departures. There was not enough seats on any of the Easy Jet flights before Christmas to take us to our destination so we hauled our luggage to the Eurostar at St Pancras and paid for some very expensive one way tickets to France.

Do we and the other families affected stand any chance of compensation?

Hanau, Germany
Level Contributor
2,459 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

Try your travel insurance, I doubt any security company at airports world wide will pay out compensation.

Even if 2 hours are advised I'm always at the airport 3 hours before my flight since I rather twiddle my thumbs at the gate than miss a flight due to long security lines during peak travel days and after what happend monday in Berlin I would have expected security to be extra tight.

Berkshire, England
Level Contributor
18,201 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

Sorry to read this but I too always get to an airport at least three hours before my flight is due to leave. I would have expected queues to be pretty bad at this time of year and given myself a lot longer than two hours I'm afraid.

Leyburn, United...
Level Contributor
2,093 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

Two hours is not enough these days for groups travelling given the increased security requirements. Your insurance may cover you but you will not be eligible for compensation.

newcastle upon tyne
Level Contributor
12,469 posts
172 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

I'm also a 3hr + guy for an international flight, I thought this was the norm to be honest.

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
39,981 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

Peak travelling dates and increased security makes 2 hours nowhere near long enough IMO. Even on non peak dates we plan to arrive 3 hours early, and that's having booked fast track security as well.

Try your insurance, although they may say you didn't give yourselves enough time. You aren't due compensation for missing a flight.

London
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
23,622 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

Compensation from whom?

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
8,155 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

Hi

Security is at an all time high right now because of Berlin, public holidays and the terrorist threat so arriving at the airport with only two hours leeway is not enough. Any other time it would have been fine, just not now.

When you are held up by security it is outside the control of the airline and so no compensation would be due.

It's a bloody expensive lesson you just learned but in future when travelling at peak times get to the airport even earlier and keep an eye on the news.

Jackie

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
11,539 posts
205 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

"had arrived at the airport two hours before scheduled take-off as advised, and we entered the family section of security control over an hour before departure"

What happened in the hour between the time you arrived at the airport and security control?

W Yorkshire
Level Contributor
5,074 posts
174 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

You failed to give yourself enough time, simple as that.

Rather than feeling sorry for yourself and desperately trying to screw compo from the airport or the airline, I'd be telling the Aer Lingus passenger to call the airline sharpish. Easyjet are a point to point carrier, so missing your outbound flight is irrelevant to the return leg. Aer Lingus however are not, that PAX is now a no show and if they had a return flight it has now been cancelled.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
1,808 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: missed flights - Gatwick family security lane chaos

I'm guessing that it's not much consolation to learn that most of the people in front of you in the queue arrived three hours before their flights, and therefore didn't actually need to be there yet.

It's caused by under-staffing, but that just leads to a downward spiral. Everyone comes earlier, which makes the queues longer, which will mean you have to arrive earlier still. I do think they could improve the system though. Suppose you weren't allowed through security until, say, two hours before your flight. Hardly an inconvenience to anyone, but probably enough that you and others would have been OK.

Compensation? No chance.