Get us in your inbox

Brighton Beach
Photograph: Dan Breckwoldt /

Could the chaos at UK airports mean the staycation boom continues this summer?

Queues, cancellations and delays across the aviation industry could persuade people to holiday at home

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

After the initial excitement of being able to travel abroad again, it’s safe to say that the last few months of airport chaos throughout the UK have decidedly dampened our appetites to fly, fly, fly away. And who can blame us? No one wants to face all those lengthy queues, frustrating delays and last-minute cancellations.

So, in a bid to avoid all that airport rubbish, could we see a return to the staycation boom of 2020 and 2021? Well, to some extent we might already be in the midst of it. Back in April The i paper reported that flight cancellations ranked among the highest concerns of UK travellers planning a summer holiday. Paul Charles of travel consultancy firm The PC Agency said travellers were ‘opting to holiday in the UK instead, finding late deals for coastal and countryside homes and cottages’.

However, that isn’t the case for everyone. It appears that so far plenty of people are still on the hunt for an international getaway. Compared to last year, MailOnline reported that staycation bookings were down 19 percent in June, 26 percent in July and 30 percent in August. On top of that, tourism chiefs in Wales have said that they’ve seen a ‘noticeable lull’ in visitor numbers.

In other words, the staycation boom hasn’t returned just yet – but it still might. Since the UK’s airport bedlam kicked-off in April, the situation hasn’t got much better. And worse still, the aviation industry is apparently unlikely to get back to a pre-pandemic normal until summer 2023.

It’s totally understandable that holidaymakers may want to avoid the stress and disappointment of flying with a nice staycay. After all, that way all you’ll have to contend with is the British weather and, of course… a summer of rail strikes. The joy. The sheer joy. 

ICYMI: why is the chaos at airports so much worse in the UK than elsewhere?

Plus: here’s why flying to a small city might not be such a great idea in 2022.

Latest news