UK holidaymakers planning a trip abroad this summer have been warned to expect a “summer of chaos” in airports.

Staff shortages are expected to cause mass disruption nationwide as the aviation industry continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

So far it has led to passengers being forced to wait in long queues outside of airports for several hours, or have their flights cancelled.

The boss of budget airline Ryanair has warned that flight delays and cancellations will continue “right throughout the summer” as airports suffer amid staff shortages.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said passengers should brace for a “less than satisfactory experience”, with flight delays due to last across the peak season and some airlines cancelling between 5% and 10% of flights.

Isle of Wight County Press: People queuing for a flight at Heathrow airport (PA)People queuing for a flight at Heathrow airport (PA)

With this in mind, here's what to do at the airport if you find your flight delayed by a few hours or more.

What to do in the airport if your flight is delayed

Flight is delayed by one hour

This should only be a minor frustration and might give you a chance to grab a bite to eat or do a light bit of shopping.

If you have young children with you it might be good to see if the airport has any soft play areas for them to pass the time while you wait.

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Flight is delayed by three hours

Three hours is a long bit of time to pass through just looking at the shops your airport has to offer, so strategising might be the game here.

Enjoying a leisurely meal at one of the restaurants might be a good way to spend a chunk of that three hours.

Alternatively, finding somewhere to sit and watch through a few episodes of a TV show on a phone or tablet could be an option, especially if it helps keep your kids' boredom at bay.

Isle of Wight County Press: Passengers arriving at Dublin airport (PA)Passengers arriving at Dublin airport (PA)

Flight is delayed by six hours

As reported by The Guardian any "delay over three hours entitles you to between £110 and £520".

To help you claim this later on, has a free tool on their website to help you claim it.

You are also entitled to food and drink, which will usually be issued in the form of a voucher.

As six hours is a long time to pass, The Guardian recommends paying for an airport lounge to stay in a for a few hours, which your eventual compensation could help pay for.

You may only be able to spend a few hours in them, but they will have food and drink, and sometimes showers too if you need to freshen up.

Flight is delayed by 12 hours

At this point it may seem like all hope is lost, and technically if your delay stretches to the next day, the airline will provide accommodation for you.

A delay of this length also qualifies you for a full refund, so if you really feel like it you could cut your losses, head back home and try again another day.