Travel chaos strikes major UK airport as passengers stuck in lengthy queues

16 June 2024, 14:13 | Updated: 16 June 2024, 15:15

Queues at Birmingham airport
Queues at Birmingham airport. Picture: Ronald Villers/Getty

By Charlie Duffield

Travel chaos hit Birmingham Airport on Sunday, with hundreds of people stuck outside.

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Enormous queues snaking around the entrance to the West Midlands airport have happened just a week after the rules on 100ml hand luggage rules were ditched.

Holidaymakers were told to arrive early because confusion regarding the U-turn on security rules meant travellers were being held up.

By 5am, passengers were stuck outside with growing lines building up and unfurling around the car park.

The queue signifies another difficult morning for flyers who have not understood if they will get through security on time.

According to the departure screens at the airport, "final call" warning messages were on show for flights as people dashed to catch their plane.

One person who was seeking to escape grey Britain on Sunday said it took two hours to get through security.

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Neil Houselander tweeted: "Birmingham Airport today.. two hours of security queues. Get here early."

Another expressed anger regarding the chaos in the terminal which meant he had to buy a fast track security pass.

Douglas Bagley said: "In the departure lounge at Birmingham Airport.

"I had Fast Track so it wasn’t too bad at 35 minutes for security but for non Fast Track the queues are massive all over the car park.

"When you get inside it is like the Olympics with people running to catch flights. Come on England!"

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson previously pinned the issues on flyers who arrived with more than 100ml of liquids in their bags.

They said: "Our new security area was designed, and resourced, to accommodate the increase to two litres being carried in cabin baggage, this currently cannot be operated with the temporary restriction.

"In order to have full compliance to this new directive we have further amended our operating process.

"We now have 'liquid check stations' at all entrances to the terminal where colleagues are directly assisting passengers to ensure liquids containers over 100ml are removed.

"With these additional checks we have seen a large proportion of customers still arriving with liquids over 100ml in their bags and these have to be regrettably removed and disposed of.

"Containers that can carry more than a 100ml are permitted but, need to be completely empty.

"Our security flow rate has been continuous today, helped by these extra checks and we welcome and appreciate the co-operation of our passengers in eliminating oversize liquids from their cabin baggage.

"The outdoor queues seen today are from 'liquid check stations'.

"Since our new security area opened in May, we have seen continuous non-compliant bags coming through security causing unnecessary queues and delays to customers' journeys.

"This new step in the process is to remove the issue before customers proceed."It is now, more than ever, imperative that customers abide by the 100ml rule.

"This additional layer of control risks slowing down the security process without the support of passengers.

"For customers who are less able to stand for durations we advise they book the assisted travel service.

"However, if a customer is queueing during our peak periods and feels they need assistance then our customer ambassadors are in the area and can assist them without losing their place in the line."

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