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BRITS are facing a holiday nightmare as airlines announce a new wave of cancellations – and Heathrow is the worst affected.

Airlines have until this Friday to tell Heathrow officials which flights will no longer be running.

i-Images 3 Airlines had until Friday to tell Heathrow officials which flights were being cancelled

n.
c 3 It’s expected thousands of passengers will be affected by the last-minute change

British Airways is expected to cancel the most flights. Problems at the airline have been caused by an amnesty on take-off and landing slots at Britain’s busiest airport this week, the Telegraph reports.

BA planned to carry 1.8 million passengers across more than 9,000 flights from Heathrow during July alone.

Holidaymakers have already been slammed by months of cancellations, delays and missing baggage as airlines and airports struggle to keep up with customer demand among staff shortages.

On Friday, passengers were trapped in long queues after EasyJet workers went on strike in Spain, with more industrial action planned across the continent.

The amnesty at Heathrow is expected to trigger a wave of cancellations over the summer.

BA, which is the biggest airline at Heathrow, will have to reallocate 80 to 85 per cent of its passengers whose flights have been cancelled in recent days.

A spokesperson for the airline said the amnesty slots “help us to provide the certainty our customers deserve”.

They claim the move makes it easier to “consolidate some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance, and to protect more of our holiday flights”.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We encourage airlines to take this opportunity to reconsider their summer schedules without penalty and inform passengers as early as possible of any changes.”

EasyJet cabin crew began a nine-day strike across bases in Barcelona, Malaga, and Palma today.

Airline staff who belong to the Spanish USO union announced they’d walk out last month after easyJet confirmed 11,000 flights would be axed from its summer schedules.

The union is looking for a 40 per cent pay rise in low-paid cabin staff’s basic wage.

Heathrow was also forced to cancel more flights on Thursday affecting thousands of travellers.

The London airport told 30 airlines they had to axe flights during the morning peak. The cancellations are understood to have affected as many as 5,000 passengers who were told at short notice of the changes.

Fuming Brits complained on social media calling it “carnage” and “total chaos”.

One man wrote: “Absolute shambles, complete chaos and only found out at check in with no prior notification.”

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Another wrote: “Total chaos at Heathrow this morning. BA flights cancelled and zero customer service!”

A third said: “Over two hours since landing and still not out of @HeathrowAirport, shambles.”

Alamy 3 Britain’s busiest airport has been bit by a wave of strikes, staffing and baggage issues

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Six tips to rebalance your relationship and share the mental load at home without nagging

If your head’s spinning with to-do lists and you feel responsible for remembering everything, be it play dates or PE kits, your relationship needs a rebalance – before you explode!

You and your partner may split most jobs around the house, but is it your responsibility to keep track of everything that needs doing?

5The mental load in relationships and families fall primarily on women

What about the other tasks, like remembering to send birthday cards, buying end-of-term gifts for teachers or keeping the calendar up to date? 

These jobs represent the “mental load”, AKA “the metaphorical brain power it takes to manage and organise the tasks of life,” explains relationship therapist Dipti Tait. “It’s an invisible pressure that can build up and, if not managed well, can cause emotional overwhelm.”

Unfortunately, the mental load primarily falls on women – and that uneven split is getting worse.

A 2019 Harvard University study found women did more cognitive labour overall, while according to the Office for National Statistics, women took on 78% more childcare than men during the first lockdown. 

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It’s important to rebalance things for the sake of your relationship, says clinical psychologist Dr Patapia Tzotzoli. “It gradually makes couples disconnect from each other.

"Negative emotions, like anxiety, depression, resentment and frustration pile up, and it’s only a matter of time before they affect the relationship – sometimes irreparably.”

So how do you get your partner to share the load? And can the kids help? We asked the experts for some nag-free solutions.

A RAW DEAL

Mental load fits into three categories:

  • Cognitive labour – the practical side of managing a household and weekly calendar, from ordering groceries to organising play dates.
  • Emotional labour – managing the family’s emotions, for example, making  sure the kids are coping well at school. 
  • Life planning – looking ahead and anticipating future needs and issues, whether practical or emotional.
Lighten the load

Of course, lots of men do help out, and it’s important to note that mental load affects non-heterosexual couples, too. It’s likely your partner isn’t aware of how many extra tasks you’re picking up, so the first step is to let them know exactly how much hidden labour you’re taking on.

“Connection is the most important part of the process. You need to cultivate understanding, respect and compassion for each other,” says Dr Tzotzoli.

5Once you’ve got everything down on paper, you can divide tasks up by playing to your natural strengths and preferencesCredit: Getty Most read in The US SunDAZED & CONFUSED Duggar fans catch Amy breaking major family rule in background of new picCATE GETS HATE Teen Mom Catelynn slammed for 'begging fans for money'‘SO COLD’ Anne Heche’s friends furious over Ellen's ‘horrible’ reaction to ex’s fatal crashCASH CLAIM Americans can apply for $500 monthly direct payments in days – see exact date

“Each write a list of all the tasks you undertake on a daily basis, which can also include your work, other projects and household tasks, and share them with one another.”

Don’t forget to include forward-planning tasks, as well as practical actions, for example, remembering when a school bake sale is coming up, or planning holidays.

“It can help you communicate more effectively to each other the number and breadth of tasks you undertake and how burdensome they can be,” says Dr Tzotzoli.

“This technique has never failed to initially shock my clients and eventually help them to open up to more meaningful and constructive discussions.”

Once you’ve got everything down on paper, you can divide tasks up by playing to your natural strengths and preferences, as well as coming up with smaller responsibilities for the kids. 

“For tasks that neither of you are good at or have no time for, consider delegating them to an external source where possible,” suggests Dr Tzotzoli.

We might dream of having a cleaner or gardener, but failing that, ask for help from friends, family and neighbours, or alternate who takes on the tasks everyone loathes!

Sync diaries

Getting thoughts out of your head and into a shared online calendar will ease mental load. The calendar on your phone should have this facility, or try Google Calendar.

Look ahead (perhaps a month or two at a time) at anything you and the kids have coming up – from PE lessons and after-school clubs requiring lifts, to the MOT and when the gas bill needs paying.

5Once you’ve fairly divided up the tasks between the whole family, it’s about keeping everyone enthusiastic.Credit: Getty

Then schedule a time (perhaps Saturday morning, so there’s no Sunday-night panic!) to both glance at the week ahead and share any new resulting chores or last-minute events.

You can set alerts to each other’s phones, too, so you don’t have to take on the mental load of reminding your partner to do a job they are responsible for!

Get the family involved

“Housework needs to be viewed as a joint venture, regardless of who spends more time in the home,” says Dipti. Once you’ve fairly divided up the tasks between the whole family, it’s about keeping everyone enthusiastic.

There are plenty of apps to help you out – Sweepy (free on Apple) lets you create schedules for each member of the household, while Cleaning Checklist (free on Android) is a simple and shareable tick list, divided into rooms.

5Family walking in the parkCredit: Getty

Dipti suggests embracing your inner Mary Poppins to make housework more fun with a family reward system – not only will it motivate you all, but getting kids into the habit of cleaning will set good future patterns for them, too.

Tick things off as they get done and decide on a treat to work towards – from a film night to a takeaway or day out.

Plan meals for the week

Meal planning can be a chore, but making it a shared activity will ensure everyone gets what they want, and that it’s not just you making the decisions.

“We have a Sunday-night system of meal planning for the week ahead,” says Dipti. “It takes into account everyone’s movements, as well as food preferences and dietary requirements.”

See it as a brainstorm session, where everyone has a responsibility to say what they’d like to eat/cook, when, and build the planner together on a whiteboard. 

Put it into practice

Once you’ve set up your new systems, it’s important to keep reviewing them. “Make sure you have regular, perhaps monthly, meetings with your partner to check in with each other, review the plan and make any new arrangements when necessary,” says Dr Tzotzoli.

5With a bit of effort, most couples should be able to rework their arrangements in a way that feels fairCredit: Getty

“The original agreement might not have worked out or circumstances may have changed, so it’s important to have a flexible mindset.

"You both need to keep acknowledging each other’s efforts, being understanding and compassionate towards their struggles and generally be there for one another emotionally.

"Nothing can help more with someone’s mental load than the connection they feel with their emotionally supportive partner.” 

Red flags

With a bit of effort, most couples should be able to rework their arrangements in a way that feels fair. But one issue to be aware of is “weaponised incompetence”.

“This is when a person repeatedly and on purpose claims not to be good at a task and bails out of it, and the person who is better at it ends up taking on more and more of the load,” warns Dipti.

“Weaponised incompetence is a form of gaslighting that can happen subtly and easily in a relationship. Once it is picked up, it needs to be called out and stopped to redress the balance of power.” 

A couples’ therapist is a good place to get some help with correcting the issue.

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