Manchester Airport boss vows ‘unacceptable’ airport chaos will come to an end in 2023

Managing Director Chris Woodroofe calls this summer’s disruption ‘frustrating‘

Ella Doyle
Tuesday 25 October 2022 17:53 BST
Mr Woodroofe took over as managing director in June
Mr Woodroofe took over as managing director in June (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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The director of Manchester Airport has slammed luggage handlers for a summer of chaos and vowed to “mark their homework” going forward.

Managing director Chris Woodroofe has revealed his plans for the airport next year - and how he will get away from a reputation of travel chaos.

He told Manchester Evening News of luggage handling agencies: “Having got the plan, then we will carry on marking their homework in that if they say they are going to have 100 extra people by this date, well I can check.

“We will go and do more assurance,” he continued, “to check they are actually then going to deliver and it wasn’t just a piece of paper that they sent me to keep me quiet."

Mr Woodroofe said receiving passenger complaints throughout the summer had been “frustrating”, adding that “passengers want to take their bags home with them when they get back to the airport, and it doesn’t seem an entirely unreasonable position to take”.

Luggage issues have been a major struggle for UK airports this year, with passengers experiencing long delays at baggage reclaim and some not being reunited with their possessions for weeks on end.

The Independent previously reported that these issues were exacerbated by a spike in demand for foreign travel this summer, airports failing to replace staff who had been been redundant during the pandemic, and wider staffing issues following Brexit.

Mr Woodroofe has vowed to tackle these issues head-on, claiming to have recruited 750 new airport staff since he took over the role from Karen Smart in June this year, with plans to hire 200 more before Easter next year.

He said: “We shouldn’t be talking about a 30-minute queue in the summer of 2023. We should be talking about what percentage of passengers should be in for 15 minutes, not 30 minutes.”

“There will be nobody doing laps of the airport stood in car parks - that’s behind us,” he added.

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