Birmingham Airport queue chaos as thousands of travellers are forced to wait outside

Thousands of people booked to fly from Birmingham Airport were forced to wait in huge queues snaking outside the airport building after numbers overwhelmed security facilities.

A still from a video posted by Terrys Taxis firm of the queues
A still from a video posted by Terrys Taxis firm of the queues

Thousands of passengers waited in long queues outside for several hours as the aviation sector continues to suffer from staff shortages.

The situation on Monday morning was described as “absolute chaos” and “a total shambles” by travellers on Twitter.

A spokesman for Birmingham Airport says things have been quiet since 8:30am and that 99.7% of flights were successfully caught.

They added: "It’s worth noting the only thing we did differently today from an operational perspective, compared to other equally busy recent days, was run the security queue outside the building.

"We did this to ensure the security queue didn’t get tangled with the check-in queues."

One person said it took her “two hours to get through check-in and security” this morning.

Another traveller pointed out the concerning scenes ahead of the Commonwealth Games being hosted in the city in just a few months' time.

Hednesford-based taxi firm Terrys Taxis warned anyone hoping to travel through the airport to allow plenty of time for checking in.

It follows scenes last week where 200 people missed their flights from Birmingham thanks to shortages in security staff, and the time required to train new staff.

Long queues have been reported at airports across the UK in recent weeks, including at Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted.

This has been blamed on a number of factors, including the time it takes for new ground staff to pass security clearance, staff sickness, a lack of Border Force officials and the spike in demand for travel following the end of the UK’s coronavirus restrictions.

Birmingham Airport said in a statement: “Half of the 15,000 customers flying out of BHX (Birmingham Airport) today were booked to depart in our busy dawn peak, so we took the decision to run security queues outside the terminal to avoid them getting tangled with check-in lines.

“Queues were long but managed and moving. We thank customers for their patience.

“As always, our message to departing customers is: 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.”

The airport said 43 per cent of its employees were made redundant during the pandemic due to travel restrictions which were lifted in mid-February with no prior warning.

It added that it began a recruitment drive in November 2021.

New security officers are expected to be on duty soon after completing training.

The scene at 5am

British Airways and easyJet are continuing to cancel flights every day due to staffing issues.

It emerged over the weekend that easyJet is removing six seats from about 50 of its aircraft to enable it to operate them with three members of cabin crew rather than four, as the airline battles a shortage of staff.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, is introducing a rule to allow new aviation recruits to begin training before passing security checks, to reduce the time it takes for them to start work.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News