The mum of Britain’s biggest family has said she is not ‘keen’ to fly from Manchester Airport amid the ongoing chaotic scenes of huge queues, baggage delays and crowded check-in halls.
Sue Radford – a mum-of-22 – was set to travel from the airport to Walt Disney World Florida this week with 15 family members for their Easter holiday, Lancs Live reports. She told fans she thought the family would experience five hour delays considering how many of them are travelling.
She described the situation at the airport as a ‘nightmare’ as she spoke in her ‘most tense vlog ever’. Sue explained that the day before jetting off, the family, from Morecambe, would have to take 16 Covid tests in appointment slots with an online witness.
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The four appointments included four family members at a time and just one negative test could write off the highly anticipated holiday for the entire family. Sue said: “I’m hoping, fingers crossed, that everybody is negative. I can’t even begin to tell you how nervous I am about these tests. I did not sleep very well last night because obviously if someone is positive, we can’t go and we’ll have to rearrange it.
“I keep thinking it won’t be the end of the world if we do have to rearrange it, I think the situation with Manchester Airport at the minute is an absolute nightmare and if I’m honest, I’m not keen on doing that because I think it’s taking two and a half, three hours, to get through security, checking-in as well is taking about an hour.
“Obviously when you’ve got sixteen of us, you can well double that, so probably about five hours for us by that time we probably would have missed our flight.”
She continued: “I’m not wanting to go through that, I must admit. So I’m thinking, it won’t be the end of the world if one of us does test positive, we can just rearrange it for later in the year but obviously the kids will be absolutely devastated.”
Sue explained to viewers it wouldn’t be ‘the end of the world’ if the trip was rearranged as if the trip were to happen at a later date, children Millie, Chris, James and Luke would have received their second vaccine and would be able to travel with them.
Fortunately, all sixteen family members tested negative and later caught up with viewers from the car on the way to the hotel. She told fans they had attempted to check in themselves and their suitcases online but the Manchester Airport website did not allow them to do so.
“So I was on the phone, trying to get through for an hour and ten minutes, we did eventually manage to add all the suitcases but we couldn’t check in over the phone so we’ll have to check in when we get there ,” she continued. Sue said a member of staff told her the system had been down so they wouldn’t be the only people wanting to check in. She continued: “Hopefully that doesn’t hold us up, she didn’t seem to think it would do, we’ve got our seats and everything.”
Daughter Katie added: “We’re hoping its not mad with the queues.”
Sue replied: “I’m not looking forward to that, I must admit, this morning when I was feeling really, really nervous about these Covid tests I was thinking, would it be such a bad thing not going? Obviously it would be because the kids would be gutted, but it’s not a great experience for people is it?”
Dad, Noel, later explained that the family would be getting up an hour earlier in anticipation of any queues or delays.
Passengers at Manchester Airport have been sharing pictures of chaotic scenes in recent weeks, with some even missing their flights due to the huge queues. Travelers have described the scenes as ‘chaotic’ and ‘scary’ and there have been warnings that ‘someone could get hurt’.
Airport chiefs have said the delays are down to staffing and recruitment issues being experienced by the entire industry as international travel slowly begins to return to normal following the Covid pandemic.
On Tuesday, the boss of Manchester Airport quit amid a growing backlash over the chaos. Karen Smart decided to leave the business after eight years to ‘pursue fresh opportunities’.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.