Airport passengers planning a summer getaway with EasyJet have be warned of check-in chaos after it was announced staff would strike for 17 days.

The staff will strike at Stansted Airport as part of a long-running pay dispute.

Unite represents 43 passenger service agents employed by Stobart Aviation Services Limited, which has the easyJet contract at the airport.

The strikes will start from Thursday July 25 as the school holidays get underway.

Unite said it "apologises in advance to affected passengers".

The workers voted unanimously to strike over the company’s refusal to pay wages in line with similar companies at Stansted.

Unite also claims Stobart refuses to recognise it as a trade union for collective bargaining purposes.

The strike dates are July 25 to 29, August 2 to 5, August 9 to 12, August 16 to 19 and August 23 to 27.

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “There is no getting away from it; these 17 days of strike action will cause severe disruption to thousands of easyJet passengers using Stansted for their summer holidays.

“A major bone of contention is that workers employed by other companies at Stansted are being paid up to 20 per cent more for doing the same job.

“But our Stobart members experience staffing issues, a lack of basics such as drinking water during their long shifts and many other smaller but none the less important issues that are ignored due to not having proper trade union recognition."

Talks were held last week but no progress was made.

Mr Barter added: “However, there is a window of opportunity for the management to sit down with Unite and hold constructive talks to resolve this strike before the travel chaos kicks in on July 25."

easyjet said it would have contingency plans in place if the strike went ahead.