Passengers at Birmingham Airport faced long queues yesterday, with some waiting for hours to catch their flights.

Queues Outside the Building

Trailing queues could be seen outside Birmingham Airport, as passengers were forced to wait outside the terminal building. Frustrated travellers described the situation as “absolute chaos,” with some worried that they would miss their flights due to the queues.

Birmingham Airport Queues
Passengers queuing at Birmingham Airport | © Rebecca Young / PA media

Birmingham Airport said they decided to run queues for security outside of the building to stop them from getting mixed up with the lines for check-in. A member of staff from Terry’s Taxis told the BBC, “in all my years in the taxi business, I’ve never seen anything as bad.” One traveller said it took them two hours to get through check-in and security.

Despite the long queues, the airport notes that only 23 passengers out of 7,500 missed their flights that morning:

“Of the 7,500 customers booked to fly out of Birmingham Airport in today’s dawn peak, 99.7% successfully caught their flights,”

Adding that all l those who missed flights were rebooked. The airport says they were expecting 15,000 passengers yesterday, but that half of those flights were at their “busy dawn peak”, creating a bottleneck.

UK Airport Woes

Birmingham isn’t the only UK airport that’s faced trouble recently. Manchester, Heathrow, and Stanstead have all had issues with long queues in recent weeks. Now travel restrictions have been eased, the demand for flights has dramatically increased, leaving airports struggling to catch up. Huge disruptions were seen over the Easter holidays when passengers returned en masse to severely understaffed airports.

Birmingham airport queues
Queues trailing outside the building | © Matthew Broome / BPM

One issue is that airline staff are required to undergo security vetting before they can start work. This can be a slow process, making it difficult for airlines to hire staff quickly enough to meet passenger demand. Later this month, a new law will come into effect aimed at speeding up the procedure.

Have you been affected by airport delays recently? Let us know in the comments below!

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