Easter travel 2022: Airport and road CHAOS with 30-mile queues amid oil protests


People heading off to travel for the long Easter weekend are facing chaos at airports, ferry ports and on the motorway.

Delays have hit trips by land, sea and air in recent days and are said to get worse over the bank holiday weekend.

Images from Dover show long queues to check-in for ferries can be seen this morning after P&O announced it was suspending all of its Dover-Calais services this weekend.

Drivers have been warned they face one of the busiest travel days today.

Holidaymakers waiting to fly have said they are waiting more than an hour to get through security this morning – as airports and airlines across the country are suffering some staff shortages.







Passengers queue up at Terminal One in Manchester Airport on Good Friday
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Passengers have been previously warned to arrive at least three hours early to avoid delays.

Holidaymakers trying to fly from Birmingham Airport this morning have complained of long queues at security.

One wrote on Twitter: “Birmingham Airport Security queues right up to the back of the airport on the ground floor and doubling back.

“Airport staff prioritizing people with flights less than an hour to departure, so head down to front of escalator if that’s you.”







One couple have said their honeymoon has been ruined after they missed their ferry at Dover
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Holiday traffic queues to check-in for ferries at the Port of Dover, Kent, as P&O services remain suspended during the Easter getaway
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Another added: “The queue for security at Birmingham Airport is HORRIFIC!! Literally never scene scenes like it!!!”

One wrote: “Birmingham Airport 5:35am. Been in the queue for security for 1 hour and about halfway there now. Good job my flight’s been delayed by 50 mins!”

Shane Crossland, from Nottinghamshire, took a video from inside the airport said: “Queue for security at Birmingham Airport, this is downstairs before we even get upstairs, at least 2,000 people queuing the full length of the airport. If anyone makes their flights today it will be a miracle.”

One passenger at Gatwick airport said they have been three hours to check in for their flight.

They tweeted: “@Gatwick_Airport- waiting to check in to a @wizzair flight in the airport! Got here 3 hours before our flight as advised!! And still waiting to check-in.

“Absolutely disgusting! One person working the check-in.”







Passengers hoping to fly today have been advised to arrive at the airport three hours earlier
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In Dover, a couple has said their honeymoon plans have been ruined after they missed their ferry amid long queues at the port.

Ashley Griffiths-Beamon, 33, and her new husband Damian Griffiths-Beamon, 36, got married on Thursday and were due to travel to Belgium to celebrate their honeymoon.

Mr Griffiths-Beamon said: “I’m upset and frustrated. We had lovely plans for today which have now been ruined.

“The delays will impact our plans today for our day in Bruges which is a shame as we have both been looking forward to visiting the city.”







The UK’s travel network has come under pressure ahead of the Easter getaway
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The pair arrived in Dover shortly after 6am for their 8.30am ferry. After missing it, they were rebooked onto a 9.55am ferry.

DFDS initially advised customers on Friday morning to arrive at least 90 minutes before their departure time, adding that it is “expecting a busy day through the Port of Dover”.

It later updated this guidance, encouraging passengers to allow at least two hours.

“Considering we have now been here waiting for almost 180 minutes, their advice I would say is misleading,” Mr Ashley Griffiths-Beamon said.







Ashley Griffiths-Beamon (left), 33, and Damian Griffiths-Beamon, 36, have had their honeymoon plans ruined after missing their ferry in Dover amid long queues
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Many have said they have missed their ferry at Dover because of the long queues
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The pair arrived in Dover shortly after 6am for their 8.30am ferry

Amanda Burton, 33, from Peterborough, arrived in Dover at 4am on Friday morning, but missed her 8am ferry.

She said the disruption was “ridiculous”, adding that there were “only four people on border control…We are off to Bruges for the weekend”.

She added: “We feel frustrated and tired. I have no idea why only four members of staff are checking in thousands and thousands of cars.”

Millions of Brits are going to hit the road on Good Friday as they try to take advantage of the hot weather.

Today is expected to be the busiest day of the Easter holidays with an estimated 4.62 million journeys likely to be made across the UK.

But there are also estimated to be a further 22.48 million journeys being made over the bank holiday weekend in what could be the busiest in years, says the RAC.







An activist from Just Stop Oil is detained by police officers after blocking an entrance to a fuel terminal during a protest in Essex
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On top of all the travel disruption, supplies of petrol and diesel at filling stations in some areas of the country have been at around half their usual level as the UK’s travel network comes under pressure.

The emergency counterflow measures on the M20 called Operation Brock Zero are still in place today.

This morning on the M25, traffic was queuing for 30 miles and causing delays of an hour and 40 minutes, HertsLive reports.







Police officers stand nearby as activists from Just Stop Oil in Essex this morning
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Motorists have been advised to travel on Thursday or early on Saturday if they can, to give themselves the best chance of avoiding long queues on the roads.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “All our polling suggests that Good Friday will be the busiest getaway day for Easter trips and staycations. If some drivers can leave on Thursday or early Saturday, they may miss some of the jams.”







A driver drags a Just Stop Oil activist from his oil tanker at Stoneness Roundabout in Essex
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It comes as rail passengers will also face travel misery today as 530 separate engineering works taking place across the weekend.

London Euston, which normally links London via the West Midlands and North West England to Scotland will be shut from today to Easter Monday.

Today’s travel chaos comes as climate protesters have targeted oil terminals in Staffordshire and Essex.







Protesters are demanding that the government stops new oil and gas projects
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Police are at the scene as images show people in orange hi-vis jackets on top of oil tankers and blockading roads, while holding signs.

Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion activists have been blocking access to oil terminals, demanding that the Government stops new oil and gas projects.

Yesterday, passengers took to Twitter to share their travel nightmares.







Cars make their way along the A303 past Stonehenge in Wiltshire during the Easter getaway
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One traveler at Heathrow Airport said they waited two hours to deplane and another claimed they were told to fill out forms for their baggage so it could be sent to them amid the disorganisation.

Good Friday is typically one of the busiest days for travel, but this year is expected to be amplified following two years of Covid travel restrictions.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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