Don’t check in bags, passengers told amid airport chaos

‘It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s one less thing to worry about and it does reduce the chance of there being problems,’ says union boss

<p>Check-in queues have joined security queues as one of the main hold-ups at airports </p>

Check-in queues have joined security queues as one of the main hold-ups at airports

Holidaymakers should avoid checking in a hold bag, travel industry figures are advising as the UK and Ireland’s airport chaos continues into the jubilee weekend.

Andy Prendergast, national secretary of the GMB union, told Sky News that passengers checking in a larger case is one of the main hold-ups as airports struggle to cope with increased passenger traffic.

“If people can check in online and do not take bags, that limits the disruption,” he said.

“It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s one less thing to worry about and it does reduce the chance of there being problems.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel PR company The PC Agency, echoed Mr Prendergast’s comments, saying: “Passengers should consider packing lightly and travelling with a small bag they can take on board the aircraft”.

Dublin Airport, which has suffered hours-long queues and seen passengers miss flights in recent weeks, advised passengers checking in a hold bag to arrive three-and-a-half hours early for a short-haul flight, and four-and-a-half hours early for a long-haul flight.

Its parent company DAA yesterday released details of a contingency plan for the jubilee weekend, which included plans to put passengers who arrive too early in a waiting area outside the terminals.

“At times when the terminals get particularly busy, triaging access will be deployed to the terminals. This will restrict passengers from accessing the departures levels of the airport until within two-and-a-half hours before a short-haul flight or three-and-a-half hours before a long-haul flight,” said a DAA statement.

Last week customers reported unusually long check-in queues at London Gatwick, with especially slow progress at British Airways, Vueling and Air Malta desks.

This morning, customers at Bristol, Manchester, Dublin and Heathrow took to social media to report smooth and well-managed queues. One said the check-in queue for Tui at Manchester “looked scary but moved quickly”.

Meanwhile, an Air Malta passenger at Gatwick reported “a huge queue of people for Malta, three people sat behind the desk and not allowed to check anyone in… until 9.25 EXACTLY”.

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