Air travel has been anything but smooth for holidaymakers departing the UK as chaos ensues in the skies.
Approximately 80 percent of flights are experiencing delays due to a significant malfunction at Britain’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS).
This disruption stems from “technical issues,” compelling air traffic controllers to transition from an automated flight management system to a manual one.
Amid this turmoil, social media platforms have become a breeding ground for amusing Die Hard 2 memes that draw parallels between today’s events and the iconic action film sequel.
Die Hard 2 Parallels Emerge
The Die Hard 2 film plot involves New York cop John McClane stumbling upon a conspiracy to sabotage the landing system at Washington’s Dulles Airport.
Social media users have creatively connected this cinematic storyline to the current air travel situation.
On platforms like Twitter, an image of McClane, casually smoking, was posted alongside the comment, “Get this man on the phone.”
Another post featured Colonel William Stuart, the film’s antagonist, holding a radio with the caption, “Anyone seen this guy lately?” Stuart also became the focus of another meme, humorously titled, “Breaking: NATS release image of suspect after UK air traffic control goes down.”
Film References Abound
Further references from the movie include a quote from Holly McClane, John McClane’s wife in the film: “Honey, it’s the 90s, remember? Microchips, microwaves, faxes, air phones.”
Air traffic control boss Trudeau’s famous line, “Stack ’em, pack ’em and rack ’em, move,” uttered during the siege in the film, was also used in a social media post amid the air travel chaos.
One meme featured Bruce Willis from the movie with the caption, “Busy Bank holiday weekend and #airtrafficcontrol is down in the UK.
I reckon it’s a DDoS attack, Russian or Chinese.
Only one person can sort this mess out.”
Widespread Delays and Uncertainty
The “technical issues” plaguing air traffic control have caused extensive flight delays both departing from and arriving in the UK.
Travelers returning from Tenerife reported being informed of expected delays lasting at least 12 hours.
Flight Radar data from 1.45 pm revealed that the majority of flights departing from Heathrow were delayed (78%), with similar disruptions at Gatwick (74%), Manchester (81%), and Bristol (86%).
Michele Robson, a former air traffic controller, noted the unusual duration of the failures, stating that it’s uncertain how long the situation will persist.
Travel expert Simon Calder, while acknowledging the misery it brings, advised holidaymakers to assume their flights were operating normally unless informed otherwise.
The ripple effects of this issue have reached Europe, causing delays for some flights departing the Continent to the USA.