Manchester airport mayhem cost family £600 after they waited two years for holiday

Mike Turner and his family were forced to delay celebrating his parents’ Ruby wedding anniversary for two years down to Covid but their plans were “scuppered” down to long baggage and security queues

The family claims to have missed their flight to Barcelona due to queues at Manchester Airport

A family-of-four has slammed Manchester Airport after they missed a flight to Barcelona meaning they had to fork out £614 to save a Ruby wedding anniversary celebration.

Mike Turner, husband Luke Harbottle and Mike’s parents Tom and Marie were excited to celebrate a special trip to celebrate 40 years of marriage.

But their plans were “scuppered” down to huge security queues and baggage scanner delays which meant they arrived too late at the gate to catch their flight.

Mike and his family were forced to spend an additional £614.25 on easyJet tickets to salvage their trip, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The 41-year-old claims that a wait for baggage check-in, security queues which snaked into the airport, as well as a further delay at the baggage scanners meant they arrived at the gate too late to catch their flight.

New flights set the family back £614 according to Mike

He managed to get new tickets to fly one-way eight hours later with Vueling for another £614.25, but he says the delay has marred their getaway – and made them miss a specially planned day trip.

The teacher said: “It just felt like this trip we’d been planning for years for my mum and dad, with a nice hotel and tickets for the Sagrada Familia was scuppered for something that wasn’t our fault.

“It was already two years late because of Covid.

“I did really feel for the staff, the woman at the gate was very apologetic but said the plane had to go and the pilot couldn’t wait any longer. Our bags had been taken off.”

Mike Turner with his husband Luke Hartbottle

Mike added during their wait at the airport for their second flight, they encountered other travelers who had missed flights to other locations including Croatia and Palma, due to security delays.

It comes as Manchester Airport and other airports across the UK have faced mayhem in the face of disruption.

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham warned this disruption at Manchester Airport could last up to two months and urged passengers to arrive at the hub three hours before flights to ensure they could get through security in time for their flights.

Mike and his family arrived at Manchester Airport at 4am – two hours before their 6.05am flight was due to jet off.

However, upon arrival, Mike said it took an hour to check in their bags due to massive queues.

The security queue was also very long, Mike said: “There were so many people that queues were crossing over each other. Nobody was telling anybody where to go.

“It looked like people working there were trying their hardest but there just weren’t enough of them.”

Mike’s parents Tom and Marie Turner who inspired the trip to celebrate 40 years of marriage

Massive queues at Manchester Airport from April 7


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Later Mike found out staff had been calling forward people whose flights were leaving at 6.30am – but those calls were not made outside the terminal where he and his family were queuing.

When the family finally reached security, another passenger’s bag was removed for extra checks and the process for other passengers was stopped, Mike says, while they tried to find a senior staff member to check it.

Mike added: “We told them our flight was supposed to leave five minutes ago but they didn’t do anything.

“There was no manager to look for the bag so we all just had to wait.

“All these things were happening where if they just had enough people trained in advance we probably would have got there in time.

“There were just so many things that stopped us on the way.”

Mike managed to get new tickets to fly one-way eight hours later

A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: “We apologize to passengers whose experience at Manchester Airport in recent days has fallen short of the standard they expected.

“Our industry is facing challenges in scaling operations back up very quickly after the removal of Covid restrictions, which have done immense damage to our sector over the past two years.

“We are actively recruiting for hundreds of new roles in areas including security, but are advising passengers that due to a shortage of staff, they may have to wait for longer than they are used to in the coming weeks, and that they should arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airline.

“We are aware all parts of the aviation industry are facing similar challenges, and this can impact other parts of the airport experience, such as check-in and baggage reclaim.

“That is why we are committed to working with our partners to ensure the end-to-end experience is as smooth as it can be during the period of recovery.”

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An easyJet spokeswoman said: “We’re very sorry for the delays Mr Turner experienced at Manchester Airport, due to longer than usual queues as well ongoing security delays at the airport.

“We are advising customers to arrive at the airport with plenty of time ahead of their flight and continue to work with Manchester airport to ensure a solution is found for our customers.

“We’re contacting Mr Turner to apologize for his experience and the inconvenience this caused, and to provide a gesture of good will.”

A spokeswoman said later that there were no reports of queues at the bag drop at that time, only for security.

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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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