Birmingham airport: Passenger advises fellow travellers to arrive five hours early in response to ‘1km’ queues

Queues peaked on Monday, with reports of smoother times on Tuesday morning

<p>Birmingham Airport</p>

Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport saw enormous queues and long waits yesterday, with one traveller estimating a “one kilometre” queue at its peak, while another advised fellow passengers to arrive “at least” five hours before their flight.

Queues around 5am-8am stretched outside the terminal, with social media users posting videos and photos of snaking lines of holidaymakers waiting in the drop-off area.

“The queues at Birmingham Airport are worse than the media are reporting! Give yourself at least 5hrs before your flight!” tweeted Jon Rowe shortly before 6am.

Not long after 7am, Lee Griffiths posted several pictures of the queues, writing: “Total shambles at @bhx_official this morning. Queueing out the door. Not all baggage lines working.”

“Actually, all those zoom meetings weren’t so bad,” quipped Matthew Broome on Twitter at 7.30am.

Birmingham, along with other UK and Ireland airports including Gatwick, Manchester and Dublin, has suffered from hours-long queues as travel bounces back following the pandemic.

An airport spokesperson told the Birmingham Mail yesterday that 7,500 people were booked to fly during the peak dawn period of the day, which had informed the decision to run security queues outside. They said the lines were “long but managed and moving”.

However, one holidaymaker told the Birmingham Mail that they queue they’d encountered was “one kilometre” long.

In an interview with BBC Radio WM last week, the airport’s chief executive Nick Barton said: “It’s still the legacy of the industry being turned back on by the government’s removal of the rules in mid-February.”

Mr Barton also mentioned a 12-week “lag” between recruiting new airport employees and getting them working in the terminals.

This morning, social media users reported smoother-flowing queues at Birmingham, with several saying security was “super quiet” or praising queue times of around one hour.

The airport’s social media team are not advising passengers to show up any earlier than their airline’s advised boarding time, writing this morning: “We advise passengers to arrive at the terminal in line with your airline’s check-in time.”

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson said: “Queues were managed and steadily moving this morning as we helped many of the more than 14,000 customers booked to fly out of BHX today (Tues, May 10).

“As always, we ask customers to arrive at the airport exactly when your airline advises - and to help us help you keep queues moving by removing any liquids, gels, pastes and electrical items from your bags before our security x-ray scanners.”

Manchester Airport has also suffered mega queues in the past week, with some passengers missing flights or being left in tears. Several passengers said yesterday that they’d “never seen it this bad”.

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