Manchester Airport suffered huge queues towards the end of the week, leading to travellers suffering significant delays and missing their flights. 

Frustrating delays 

The queues put Apple launch queues to shame, as some even managed to reach car parks outside terminals. 

Images and videos put out by passengers from Terminal One on Wednesday show lines of hundreds of people waiting outside the doors of the terminal as well as into the car park. 

Some travellers missed flights because of the disruption. Anger grew with some reporting 200 meter long lines outside of Terminal One. 

Manchester-Airport-T1
Terminal One at Manchester Airport | © Manchester Airports Group/Hufton + Crow

One man, who had been waiting two hours to get through security, had paid extra for the “fast-track” system. 

Manchester Airport, the third busiest airport in the UK, has since apologised for the frustrating delays and wait times. The Airport stated that it was due to a lack of staff on shift and “unpredictable high passenger numbers”. This is likely to be true, as the aviation industry struggles globally to accommodate growing passenger numbers after the substantial loss of staff post-COVID. 

Following the pandemic, it was estimated that more than 2000 redundancies were made at Manchester Airport. 

The Northern airport, where EasyJet, Ryanair, British Airways operates, has said that they have experienced up to 60% of customer bags being rejected as they passed through security on Thursday and Friday due to an influx of restricted items. This wouldn’t have helped ease the growing disruption. 

On Wednesday, the airport attempted to ease the disruption by deploying staff from elsewhere to assist in security. Earlier this month, firefighters had surprisingly been asked to work on the baggage belts at Manchester Airport in an attempt to manage the workforce shortage. 

On Thursday, a spokesperson of the airport stressed how the rapid recovery of international travel has somewhat suffocated the airport:

“It has been much more difficult to predict passenger volumes based on the flights that are due to depart. We have seen more people than we were expecting, which has put a considerable strain on our operation.”

Manchester Airport becoming paralysed by increased demand offers a glimpse into how long the recovery of the aviation industry will take. 

Were you impacted by the long queues? Let us know. 

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