Travel news: Terminal 3, Jet2 and JFK

How did Terminal 3 fare in the Post-Brexit future, and why has the cost of the new Thameslink trains been higher than anticipated? Is it time to give up about JFK?

Q Travel advice – exchange rates, visas and currency and transport

You’ve written a good summary of recent transport issues – how did Terminal 3 fare in the Post-Brexit future, and why has the cost of the new Thameslink trains been higher than anticipated? Is it time to give up about JFK and go back to Heathrow for other reasons?

Helen Thomson

A Terminal 3 has been hit by flight disruption and the post-Brexit referendum vote has clearly impacted its performance. A “route of despair” might be a better summary. The damage to the airline economy, resulting from declining and delayed Ryanair departures, has been further compromised by strike action affecting Luton Airport and increasing competition from budget carriers. Meanwhile, the budget high-speed rail (HSR) service linking London to Heathrow, the only mega airport not currently served by any train, has been plagued by extensive delays. While Terminal 3 has a distinctly different core business, it is likely that disruption from strikes and greater competition will continue to make it harder to deliver quality service. As Terminal 3 itself is under question, Heathrow itself is facing viability concerns and I think it is the hub airport now most vulnerable. London’s physical and technological connectivity remains vital but its ability to manage it is struggling. At the same time, we have seen uncertainty creep in over travel visas – and, of course, we are at risk of another strike by air passengers. What’s more, the airport is not self-sufficient so we need a new airport – Heathrow 2.

Q Jet2 cancels 13,000 flights, not all for money-saving but because of its own problems and fears of strike action. Is anyone else taking a profit hit here?

Will Quinton

A Jet2 is one of the airlines which have been affected by dispute among staff on its new crewing model. Some 38,000 passengers are affected by this pay dispute, but a further 16,000 are due to have their flights rearranged later this week, in line with last-minute adjustments agreed with Transport for London. The number of cancellations was reduced from 20,000 to 13,000 after an agreement with trade unions. The reduction is still “considerable” and, in the circumstances, it’s always sensible to get a refund if there are problems with your flights – but there are other ways to fly if you’re not totally happy. Jet2’s full management statement is here.

I mentioned below that it looks like, temporarily, it is time to go back to Heathrow for various reasons. But perhaps my last question is the one which needs to be the most alarming: does JFK have all the connections we have as Brits, once including landing rights with Britain and as recently as 2013? (JFK, therefore, has not been the United States’ only airport which it has used, but I have no idea where this amount was applied or whether the new JFK was discussed in the clear-out session?)

I still think JFK is important and I am somewhat surprised by the quietness of any optimism. But, as I hear it, it has only just begun to add connections, and not by treaty. I can only assume that there are US visa and US passport issues we haven’t been informed about. But, despite being told “now”, does anybody believe that there are no US issues which will find their way to British passengers at JFK? Or are we just not looking at the way there’s no other US airport that others can be served by before? There are issues with JFK already, but there are plenty of other US airports which don’t include the UK.

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