Passengers travelling over the Easter holidays have been told to arrive in good time for flights and to make sure they’re aware of security rules following chaos at Manchester Airport at the weekend.
Several passengers missed flights due to extraordinary long security queues at the northern airport, which was struggling to cope with an increase in traffic post-pandemic.
While the situation had improved yesterday, Manchester still had long security queues and passengers reported it was taking them up to an hour to get through.
There were also reports of long delays at Birmingham Airport today, with some passengers also missing flights.
And London Stansted warned that its passengers might suffer some disruption due to a major refurbishment of its departure lounge.
The airport said is expecting to handle around 1.3m passengers over the Easter holidays, with 240,000 travelling over the four-day Easter weekend, compared to just 8,000 last Easter when travel restrictions were still in place.
It said passengers could help reduce the queues by arriving ‘in good time’ for their flights and familiarising themselves with all the usual security requirements.
Passengers travelling through Manchester and Birmingham over the past three days said many customers were being stopped at security for additional bag checks, sometimes because they were carrying excess liquids, sharp objects or because they’d forgotten to remove electrical items from their luggage.
Stansted MD Steve Griffiths said: “While queues may be longer than people are used to at times, customers can definitely help us by arriving in good time.
“We are also keen to remind people how they can minimise any unnecessary delays at the airport.
“The usual restrictions on liquids, sharp items, and electronics carried in hand luggage continue to apply, and although hand sanitiser is also allowed through security if it’s under 100ml it too needs to be included in a clear, resealable bag with all other liquids, so we urge passengers to prepare properly before they leave home.
“We also recommend that passengers check for any road or rail disruptions that could affect their journey to the airport, and arrive at the terminal at the earliest time their airline allows them to check-in.
“To prepare for the summer, we began a major recruitment drive in January to fill hundreds of roles in our security operation, and partner organisations like airlines, ground handlers and Border Force have also been recruiting.”
“We are investing more than £12million in improving the customer experience with a range of new bars, restaurants, and retail outlets.
“Over the next few weeks, passengers may experience some disruption in the departure lounge, so please be patient with us as we carry out this work.
“We are all really excited to welcome more and more passengers back to London Stansted and will be working hard to ensure they have the best possible experience while at the airport.”
Meanwhile, pilots’ union BALPA has warned the chaos is likely to be repeated this summer.