Manchester Airport passengers hit with more delays amid ’90-minute wait’ and queues reaching car park

Passengers flying from Manchester Airport have been hit by more delays this morning as travelers reported 90-minute wait times for security and queues reaching the terminal’s car park.

Holidaymakers attempting to jet off from Terminal One as the Easter Holidays get underway said they were met with “shambolic” scenes, but praised exhausted staff for doing their best.

It comes as the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, warned that queues and delays could continue for at least another two months as he criticized airport bosses for reacting ‘too late’ on recruitment.

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Former airport boss, Karen Smart, who quit the role last week, previously warned passengers long queues would continue for weeks after admitting they’d been hit by staff shortages amid a surge in international travel.

And despite the airport group confirming they had interviewed over 4,000 people in the space of two months, hundreds of vacant positions have yet to be filled in time for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Queues for security this morning (12 April)

Robin Evans arrived at Terminal One at 4.45am this morning (April 12) for a 7.30 flight to Pisa in Italy – as passengers have now been advised to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight. He said it was the second time he had used the airport in the last month, describing both visits as ‘pretty shambolic.’ He told the MEN it took around 90 minutes just to get through security.

“We were on the 7.30am flight to Pisa and got in the queue outside the terminal for security at 4.45am and got through at 6.20am,” Robin said.

“Staff were as helpful as they could be, and tried to keep people’s spirits up. Regularly asking if people who were on flights in the next hour to make them aware so they could get them through the usual fast track.”

Another passenger flying out this morning tweeted: “OK Manchester Airport definitely a little worse than pre-covid but nowhere near those viral videos for the long-haul terminal. About 1.5 hours from arrival to clearing security.”

Another traveler tweeted a picture of a huge queue snaking out of the departures area and into the terminal’s car park. “Queues out of the airport doors will never be acceptable,” he said.

The MEN understands today’s queues have been due to the ongoing issues relating to staff shortages and high passenger numbers rather than any specific issue. Guidance issued by the airport to passengers is that they should arrived for when check-in opens – which is usually three hours before departure. It is understood that most travelers are passing security within 30 to 40 minutes but airport bosses have warned that at times this time could rise to 60 to 90 minutes.

Chief Executive Charlie Cornish has apologized to passengers for the disruption, and warned it could continue until the summer months.

He said: “I cannot apologize enough for the disruption people have faced. The simple fact is that we don’t currently have the number of staff we need to provide the level of service that our passengers deserve.”

Mr Cornish added: “I also want to be clear that a huge amount of work is going into improving the situation in the short-term. Our focus for the next four weeks is on delivering a more predictable and reliable level of service for passengers. “

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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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