'Shambles' at the airports: Passengers face flight chaos with queues stretching outside

9 May 2022, 11:07 | Updated: 9 May 2022, 12:52

By Daisy Stephens

Holidaymakers at Birmingham and Manchester Airports are facing more travel misery as huge queues snake out to the car parks, with people missing their flights because of the wait.

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Furious travellers have taken to social media to vent their frustration.

"Once again at @manairport and once again T1 queue is stupid," wrote one Twitter user.

"I joined security queue just as it entered the car park… a disgrace and embarrassment to MCR."

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Another said they had "never been through such a poor experience at security checks" in their 20 years of travelling, and another said: "So the queue just to get into security at Manchester airport is currently through the airport, out the door and halfway through the car park.

"V stressful despite being here early. Surely this level of disruption just isn’t sustainable."

Queues at Manchester Airport stretched through the car park
Queues at Manchester Airport stretched through the car park. Picture: Twitter @AndyW606

Another traveller wrote that they queued for nearly two and a half hours to get through security despite the fact they had fast track tickets - and only just made their flight.

"Christ @manairport know how to take the joy out of going away," they wrote.

"2hrs 25mins to get through T3 security with fast track tickets. Standard was at least an hour longer. Staff totally overwhelmed. We just made our flight but plenty didn't."

They then added the plane had sat on the tarmac for 40 minutes.

Photos on social media show huge queues to even enter the airport building in Birmingham.

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson said: "Of the 7,500 customers booked to fly out of Birmingham Airport during today’s dawn peak, 99.7% successfully caught their flights. Anyone who missed was rebooked.

"Due to the large volumes of customers at the airport this morning, we ran security queues outside the terminal to avoid them getting tangled with check-in lines. We thank customers for their patience.

"Our message to departing customers is: Help us help you keep queues moving by removing any liquids, gels, pastes and electrical items from your bags before our security x-ray scanners."

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said most passengers were getting through security within 40 minutes, but the waits were longer in some cases so advised passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight.

The spokesperson added that during particularly busy periods the queueing system extended to the covered area outside the terminal entrance, which they said was not a cause for concern but acknowledged it was not "ideal".

Travellers have also reported waiting for hours for luggage
Travellers have also reported waiting for hours for luggage. Picture: Twitter @KATMS_

Manchester Airport has faced travel disruption for months now, with staff shortages as a result of Covid likely to be partially to blame.

The disruption got so bad that the the airport's managing director stood down in April.

Karen Smart said she would return to the south of England for family reasons and to "pursue fresh career opportunities".

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In latest developments, the airport advised passengers to drop off their bags the night before their flight.

The city's mayor Andy Burnham described the situation as "unacceptable", after piles of suitcases were left in terminals as passengers abandoned the wait to reclaim their baggage and instead left for home.

In April Tim Jeans​, Chair of Cornwall Airport and former Managing Director of Monarch Airlines​, told LBC's Tonight with Andrew Pierce that the aviation chaos would continue until at least June and have an impact on summer holidays.

"We've got a problem, let's be quite clear about it," he said.

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"And it's not one that's going to go away overnight, and I think despite everybody's best efforts it's probably going to be June before things return to anything like normal unfortunately."

He said the delays were due to problems of understaffing and long recruitment processes.