Manchester and Birmingham airports: Chaos as passengers left to stand for hours in long queues for security
One traveller said he had “never seen it this bad” as images are shared on social media showing people standing in a car park as the queue gets longer and longer.
Monday 9 May 2022 13:23, UK
Travellers arriving at Manchester and Birmingham Airport have said delays at security have again created huge queues which are snaking outside the terminal buildings and causing people to miss their flights.
Last week, Manchester Airport advised holidaymakers to arrive at least three hours before their flight to make sure queues would not form.
However, this morning, passengers have reported being forced to spend hours in queues which have extended into the car park.
The situation on was described as “absolute chaos” “a shambles” and “manic” by travellers on Twitter.
Passengers ‘in tears’ as some urged to queue-jump
Ben Leather tweeted: “As a regular flyer I’ve never seen it this bad. Feel sorry for the overworked staff @manairport who clearly just don’t have the numbers to cope with the passenger load at the moment. Give yourself plenty of time to get through security if you’re flying anytime soon.”
Ryan Hoey said: “Queue for security at @manairport now stretching outside the Terminal building. As a regular user of the airport, I could describe my experiences as of late, but I usually refrain from swearing on Twitter.”
John wrote: “Wow! #manchesterairport Security for T1 queue goes the length of the building and back outside #joke.”
Other people tweeted about relatives missing flights because of the queues, while others were recommending people queue-jump so could they make it to the departure gate on time.
Staff at Manchester Airport were reportedly allowing people who were close to missing their flight to leave the queue and go through the Fast Track line.
@Rachael_Am4to wrote: “@manairport @AndyBurnhamGM #easyJet absolute disgrace my sister is in tears after missing her flight because of security. Begged security staff to fast track her thru as gate was closing no1 cares. Disgrace!!”
Elisabeth Young tweeted: “Just took us an hour and 45 minutes to get through and we technically cut the line twice….”
Airport’s plea to ‘help us help you’
Birmingham Airport has also been affected this morning with social media users sharing photos of long queues out of the main terminal door.
Lee Griffiths tweeted: “Total shambles at @bhx_official this morning. Queueing out the door. Not all baggage lines working.”
Birmingham Airport said in a statement: “Half of the 15,000 customers flying out of BHX (Birmingham Airport) today were booked to depart in our busy dawn peak, so we took the decision to run security queues outside the terminal to avoid them getting tangled with check-in lines.
“Queues were long but managed and moving. We thank customers for their patience.
“As always, 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.”
There has been chaos at many of the UK’s airports in the last month as high rates of COVID caused widespread staff absences for airlines and airports that were already struggling to recruit after workers deserted the industry during the pandemic.
Manchester Airport managing director Karen Smart resigned from her role in April amid weeks of delays for passengers.
Britain’s Airport Operators Association said its members were increasing staff as quickly as possible.
But the combination of a tight labour market, delays in the security checks for new and returning staff as well as the COVID-related absences have put airports under strain.
“This may mean longer queues at peak travel times,” it said.
Sky News has contacted Manchester Airport for a comment.