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Gatwick Airport flights latest news update: Flight cancellations, delays & diversions | Travel News | Travel





Gatwick Airport flights have all been grounded since last night when drones were spotted illegally flying over the airfield. The major security alert resulted in outbound flights being diverted and incoming planes diverted. Passengers have been advised against travelling to the airport without checking the status of their flight first. Flights have been diverted to other airports including London Heathrow, Luton and Manchester as well as Paris and Amsterdam. This is the latest travel advice for travellers due to fly to or from the London airport, whether flying with Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.

Thursday 20 December, 10.52am

Police are now appealing for help in identifying those responsible for flying the drones over Gatwick. “We are appealing for information to help us identify the operators of the Gatwick drones,” Sussex Police tweeted. “If you know who’s responsible or have any information please call 999 and quote ref 1350-19/12.”

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw has said the incident is “absolutely” a deliberate act. He said: “This has been going on for 10 hours now. Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears; when we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears. I’m absolutely convinced it’s a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick Airport.”

Thursday 20 December, 10.24am

Police have said there is no evidence the drone incident at Gatwick is terror-related. Sussex police tweeted: “We are carrying out a joint search with Gatwick Airport for the operators of drones sighted at Gatwick. Public safety is paramount and we will take all available actions to disrupt this deliberate act. There are no indications to suggest this is terror-related.”

The last sighting of the drone was at about 8.45am today, police have said. Gatwick chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe has said police do not want to shoot the devices down because of the risk from stray bullets.

The airport is due to remain closed until 11am now, according to Eurocontrol.

Thursday 20 December, 10.15am

Experts say they believe the drones were deliberately used to create as much disruption at the airport as possible. 

Former RAF fighter pilot and instructor Jon Parker, now an airline pilot, regularly flies into Gatwick and runs drone training company Flyby Technology. He told Sky News: “It sounds like more than one drone has been used which seems to me like it could be a concerted effort to disrupt operations.”

He added: “The usual practice is to suspend flights for half-an-hour which is the usual battery lifespan for drones but it may be in the Gatwick case whoever is responsible for this have had several batteries and have brought their drones back to the ground to put new batteries on them.”

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw tod BBC more than 20 police units are searching for the drone operator. He said: “I’m absolutely convinced it’s a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick Airport.” 

Thursday 20 December, 10.05am

Rail operator LNER is offering free travel between London and Edinburgh for all passengers unable to fly between the two capitals due to Gatwick’s flight cancellations.

To qualify for free travel on LNER trains, passengers should show their flight ticket for their cancelled journey to the train manager.

Thursday 20 December, 9.52am

Ryanair has updated their travel advice on their website with the statement: “We have been advised that London Gatwick Airport expected to re-open at 10am (20 Dec) following an earlier runway closure. Please check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport.”

Virgin Atlantic has posted the statement: “Flights to and from London Gatwick airport have been suspended this morning due to reports of drones flying close to the airfield.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we may be forced to delay or divert flights until the airport resumes full operation. We would like to assure any customers due to travel with us that we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption to their travel plans. For the latest information please check Flight Status.”

Thursday 20 December, 9.45am

Gatwick’s boss has said one of the drones is a heavy industrial drone. It is illegal to fly drones within 1km of an airport boundary. The offence is punishable by up to five years in prison.

“All flights to and from Gatwick are suspended due to ongoing drone activity around the airport,” Gatwick have tweeted. “Unfortunately, there are significant delays and cancellations to all flights today. Please do not travel to the airport without checking the status of your flight with your airline first. We apologise to everyone affected, but the safety of all our passengers and staff is our number one priority.”

Thursday 20 December, 9.17am

Chris Woodroofe, COO of Gatwick Airport, told Sky News: “The police have 20 units out looking for the operator of that drone, and once they find them, they will bring them to justice, which is five years imprisonment for endangering an aircraft.”

EasyJet is advising passengers to not travel to Gatwick if their flights have been affected. 

Thursday 20 December, 9.13am

Gatwick said 110,000 passengers were due to either take off or land at the airport on 760 flights today.

Thursday 20 December, 9.03am

Norwegian has announced all its Gatwick flights are grounded. Customers can be fully refunded if their flights are affected or they can rebook for free.

“Following reports of drones flying over Gatwick’s airfield in the early hours of this morning all flights remain suspended at the airport,” a Norwegian spokesperson told

“Norwegian would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and we advise customers to check the status of their flight on before travelling to the airport.

“Customers on flights that have been cancelled can rebook free of charge or receive a full refund. The safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority.”

Thursday 20 December, 8.18am

Gatwick Airport has said police are still hunting for the person(s) responsible for flying the drone after another device was sighted just before 7am.

European air traffic management group Eurocontrol has said the runway will remain closed until 10am.

Thursday 20 December, 8.15am

It is illegal to fly drones close to airports. According to “On 30 July the UK drone rules changed to make it against the law to fly above 400ft (120m) and to make it against the law to fly your drone within 1km of an airport or airfield boundary.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has tweeted: “It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment. Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations.”

Thursday 20 December, 8.10am

Gatwick Airport confirms all flights remain grounded on Twitter: “Due to drone activity on the airfield at Gatwick, all arriving and departing flights are currently suspended.

“Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport today. We’re sorry to everyone affected, safety is our number 1 priority.”

They added: “Please do not travel to the airport without checking with your airline first.”

Thursday 20 December, 7.50am

Check-in queues at Gatwick continue to expand despite all flights being suspended.

Furious passengers have complained of being stuck in planes for hours. Many were forced to sleep overnight on the floor of Gatwick Airport or on planes stuck on the tarmac.

Thursday 20 December, 7.45am

easyJet announced on Twitter: “Due to the LGW closure overnight, we expect there to be some disruption to flights this morning.

“We advise customers to check flight tracker before travelling. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

British Airways released a statement, saying: “All flights to and from London Gatwick airport are suspended while authorities investigate reports of drones flying close to the airfield.”

Thursday 20 December, 7.40am

According to travel expert Simon Calder well over 50 easyJet flights would have been affected by the security breach and is the “worst affected airline,” Calder said on Good Morning Britain today.

Calder said the breach could be serious: “The Sussex Police believe there is more to it than a couple of idiots with a couple of drones flying,” he said.

The incident could cause particular trouble for those flying long haul due to the competition over seats at this time of year.

Calder said: “It is looking bad. If your flight is cancelled you go right to the back of the queue – you are struggling for seats and there are few seats available at this time of year.”

He cautioned passengers could be affected by flight disruption right up to Christmas Eve as a result of the drone incident.

“If you are flying long haul, even if the airport opened right at this very minute, there would still be hours of disruption and it could be up to before Christmas Eve before it is sorted out,” he said.


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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic





Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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Travel & Escape

All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021





KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Travel & Escape

Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine





The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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