A TUI Airways co-pilot was recently spotted loading bags onto his flight, a sign of just how bad things have gotten in the UK travel universe. The pilot was called a legendary for his “heroic actions” according to witnesses of the event.
Late yesterday, our sister website and travel satire site, The Takeoff Nap, published a piece satirizing the severe staffing challenges that British airline TUI Airways and UK airports, in general, are experiencing. Little did we know that fiction would become a sort of fact when sure enough, a TUI Airways pilot was caught on camera loading bags onto his flight (see the video at the end of this article).
According to a BBC News report, a TUI Airways pilot known as “Simon” was seen helping load luggage onto the very plane he was planning to fly. The flight, which was already delayed, was being affected by the severe staffing shortages that are plaguing UK airports – and perhaps most notably, the Manchester Airport (MCR).
MCR made substantive staffing cuts during the pandemic downturn and in what some are calling an unnecessary debacle, grossly underestimated the rapid return of travel as restrictions have started to end. With massive staffing shortfalls, the airports and airlines have been struggling to get employees on board, cleared and working.
The result? Absolute chaos as the airports.
There simply aren’t enough people to perform basic airport functions including assisting with baggage handling, helping disabled passengers off planes and through border checkpoints, and more. Just recently a UK man was left stranded on a Ryanair flight for 2 hours due to staffing shortages.
Recently, TUI Airways announced they plan to cancel six flights a day to help stabilize their operations.
On this TUI Airways flight, the co-pilot appears to have stepped up to help ground crews load the last bits of luggage so that the already-delayed flight could get in the air and not lose it’s landing spot at the destination airport.
According to the BBC report, a woman named Katherine Cox who was on the flight noted, “The crew and pilot on the flight were amazing. She later added that Simon was the “hero of our holiday and if it was not for “Simon’s heroics we would have missed our air traffic control slot.”