UK airport chaos as thousands face delays and huge queues for Easter family getaways

Passengers have been complaining of delayed flights, huge waiting time for luggage and lengthy queues at Passport Control – as well as being ‘trapped’ on plans on the runway

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Simon Calder discusses Easter travel chaos

Airports across the UK have been hit by delays as chaotic scenes show travelers in huge queues as many families try to escape for some Easter sunshine.

Passengers have been complaining of delayed flights, huge waiting time for luggage and lengthy queues at Passport Control.

At Manchester Airport, travelers said the system for moving travelers through check-in and security was shambolic.

The problems at the airport are set to continue for some time, with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham warning queues could continue for two months – just a day after the airport’s managing director Karen Smart quit the company to return to the South of England.

Manchester Airport (T2)and queues galore as passengers wait patiently to get through the airport some having waited 4 hours



The airport has previously said: “As we continue to recover from the pandemic and passenger numbers grow, security queues may be longer than usual at times. If you’re due to travel in the next few weeks, please arrive at the earliest time your airline allows. We apologize to our customers for the disruption.”

British Airways passengers, meanwhile, have fared little better at Heathrow One passenger at the west London airport complained their BA flight was delayed for three hours last night, only to face an hour long wait for luggage after touching down at Terminal 5.

People wait in line for up to four hours at Manchester Airport



Heathrow Airport has recorded its busiest month since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Heathrow admitted “resources are stretched” but described how it is “working closely with airlines and ground handlers to make sure this increase in demand can be met while keeping passengers safe”.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “It is fantastic to see the airport coming back to life after two years, and I want to thank all team Heathrow colleagues for working together to serve our passengers.

A busy Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 as people head off for easter breaks and face lengthy delays at one of the countries busiest airports



“Everyone at Heathrow is doing everything we can to make sure passengers get on their way as smoothly and safely as possible.”

At Gatwick, passengers took to sitting on the floor of the airport after waiting more than an hour and a half for their luggage.

Travelers have also complained of a long check-in line at Birmingham airport, while at Stansted arrivals they have shared pictures of a ‘full’ queue of people at Passport Control.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 departures.


©Stan Kujawa)

While in Birmingham, passengers traveling in and out of Birmingham Airport have been hit with lengthy delays over the last week.

The struggling airport has been plagued with huge security queues, flight and baggage delays as well as crowded check-in halls.

Some have even reported missing their flights, or being trapped on plans, as staff-cut BHX battles to keep up with customer demand which has soared with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. And while the airport is on a recruiting drive, a rush to get away over Easter could see delays get worse.

Passengers traveling in and out of Birmingham Airport have been hit with lengthy delays over the last week


Harry Leach/Birmingham Live)

A spokesperson said the airport experienced ‘another busy start on Monday’ as ‘thousands more people flew off for their Easter breaks’.

They added: “Once people cleared boarding card checks, average wait times for security were 15 to 25 minutes as queues ebbed and flowed.

“We’d ask all customers traveling to “help us help you” to keep queues moving by presenting compliant baggage – removing liquids and electrical items – at the security scanners.”

Travel executives blamed a surge of passengers flying abroad on the first Easter holidays with all UK travel restrictions lifted in more than two years.

Covid sickness causing staff absence was as well as firms attempting to quickly restaff following a downsizing of operations during the pandemic have also been blamed.

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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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