Child had to urinate into plastic bag during hours-long Manchester airport security queue

‘They had just two security lanes open. It was utter chaos,’ says father

<p>Queues stretch outside Manchester Airport’s terminal one on 1 June </p>

Queues stretch outside Manchester Airport’s terminal one on 1 June

A father whose flight was cancelled following long waits in Manchester Airport’s security queue has alleged that lines were so long his son had to urinate into a plastic bag during their wait.

Mark Meadows was due to fly with easyJet to Berlin out of Manchester at 6.55pm on Tuesday, but arrived to find long queues.

Mr Meadows says there were only two security lanes open, leaving hundreds of passengers stuck in slow-moving lines for two hours.

“Security didn’t look so bad when we were arriving, at least it wasn’t snaking outside. But, when we got in, it was a different story,” he told Manchester Evening News.

"They had just two security lanes open. It was utter chaos. A lad was trying to help get people to the front who were risking missing flights but it wasn’t exactly organised.

"My little boy also had to wee in a plastic bag in security as we waited so long and there was no chance of leaving for the toilets.”

Having finally got through the security scanners, Mr Meadows says his flight was delayed. Initially the family was pleased as they wouldn’t have to rush to the gate.

However, easyJet then cancelled the flight at the last minute.

“Manchester Airport didn’t even bother flashing the cancellation on the screen, they just removed it completely,” says Mr Meadows.

He says he then “wandered around a few gates” until he “found one with an angry queue, and that was the one where a man was handing out instructions.

“I ran to the main lounge and alerted others to go to that gate for info. Then the easyJet email dropped about the cancellation."

Representatives of Manchester Airport said five security lanes had been open in the airport’s Terminal One at the time, and emphasised that it has recruited 400 new staffers this year in a bid to ease the travel chaos.

A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said on Wednesday: “We apologise to any passengers in Terminal One who were affected by long waits at security yesterday afternoon. We are emerging from the most damaging two years in our history and, like several other UK airports, are facing resourcing challenges at present.

“Most passengers will get through security within 30 minutes, but on occasion security queue times will be higher than this, and so we are advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight is due to depart.

“We have welcomed nearly 400 new starters into the operation so far this year, with a further 500 people going through security and background checks right now.”

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We are very sorry that flight EZY1895 from Manchester to Berlin yesterday was cancelled due to earlier Air Traffic Control delays which unfortunately meant the flight would not have arrived in Berlin before the airport curfew was imposed.

“We notified customers directly of their options to rebook or receive and refund and provided hotel accommodation and meals where required. Nonetheless we fully understand the disruption this will have caused to these customers’ plans and we are very sorry for this.”

Manchester Airport has faced a tumultuous few months with managing director Karen Smart resigning in April, and Manchester Airports Group CEO Charlie Cornish forced to apologise for the travel chaos the same month.

Last week easyJet passenger told The Independent of a “nightmare” morning at Manchester Airport, where she says long security queues caused her and three other passengers to miss a flight.

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