Arriving at London’s Gatwick Airport for his EasyJet flight to Malaga, Spain, with his wife and 12-year-old daughter on April 4, Alasdair Crawley said it was like walking into the mayhem of the aftermath of a soccer game. The 49-year-old plumber from East London described long, unruly lines of angry passengers trying to determine the status of their flights and families sprawled out across the floor eating, drinking and sleeping to get through long delays.

“First, our flight was canceled and rebooked for a day later, so we lost the first night of our hotel, and then when we arrived for our new flight, it was delayed by three hours,” Crawley recalled this week from his hotel balcony in Spain. “It’s bliss to be here, but honestly, if I knew I had to go through the shambles at the airport again, I would have probably chosen to stay at home in my garden.”

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