Passengers complain of hours-long queues at Birmingham Airport as it installs new security scanners

Birmingham queue chaos
By Linsey McNeill
18/04/2024
Home » Passengers complain of hours-long queues at Birmingham Airport as it installs new security scanners

Passengers have described Birmingham Airport’s security process as a ‘complete shambles’ and ‘utter chaos’ this week.

One claimed on Twitter/X that their ‘pensioner parents’ had missed their flight while others said the security queue was more than two hours long yesterday morning.

Earlier today, passengers continued to report issues, with some urging others to ‘give yourselves plenty of time’ if flying from Birmingham.

The airport described the queues as ‘a temporary new normal’ while it completes the installation of new 3D security scanners that will allow passengers to leave liquids and laptops in their hand luggage.

Last month, Birmingham announced it would be the first major airport in the UK – and the only one to meet the Government’s original 1 June deadline – to lift the 100ml liquid rule by processing all passengers through the new scanners.

An airport spokesperson said that, due to the building works involved, the queuing space on the first floor has been closed, so passengers are held before transiting in lifts to the security search area.

“For the majority of the time this does not add to the queuing time; occasionally at peak periods of the day, and due to bags not being compliant, by having liquids, pastes and gels left in them, the queuing process is a little longer however our terminal colleagues are always in the area to assist our customers,” they said.

“This build process, which has taken over 18 months, is on-going while we are a functioning passenger airport and transitioning to the new facility.  This is the only UK construction site to have 11m customers walk through it, as we keep the airport running safely and securely.

Images have been posted on Twitter/X of passengers crowding round the lifts, and passengers claimed security staff weren’t assisting with those running late for their flights.

The airport spokesperson added: “We are aware that a small number of passengers have missed their flights however, this could be for a number of reasons, of which some are out of the airport’s control.”

When asked if passengers should arrive more than two hours earlier for their flight, they said: “Customers should always check with their airline for the best time to arrive at the airport.  

“Check in and bag drop facilities are operated by the airline’s handling agent.  Arriving too early may mean the check in is not open, causing customers to wait.

“Also, customers are reminded that existing security rules still apply.  All liquids, pastes and gels need to be under 100ml, in a resealable 20×20 transparent bag and all electricals removed out of bags for separate scanning.”

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