Traveller chaos at Manchester Airport as security boxes pile up and passengers ‘jump over barriers’ amid baggage crisis

HOLIDAYMAKERS have been thrown into chaos at Manchester Airport as security boxes pile up and passengers were seen "jumping over barriers."

Brits getting away for the school holidays have been slapped with huge queues and hours of delays amid the airport's baggage crisis.

Baggage handlers have said they are "under more stress than ever" because of the demand during the school holidays and easing of Covid restrictions.

Passengers have faced chaos at security as boxes of belongings were piled on top of each other, according to Manchester Evening News.

One traveller, Emma Broadhurst, told the paper that she spent one and a half hours in a queue to check-in, two hours waiting for security, and a five-hour flight delay.

She said: "We were moved like cattle to the baggage reclaim, where we faced another two-hour queue to go through passport control, despite never leaving the tarmac, and a further hour for our bags.


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"On arrival at the airport for our second attempt to fly, we were faced with yet another check in queue, which took over two hours.

"Finally through security once again, we faced yet another two-hour delay until the aircraft took off."

Another eyewitness said they saw passengers jumping over the barriers at security as they feared they'd miss their flights.

Holidaymakers said that the police had to step in "several times" during the airport chaos today.

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One passenger Carlos Fernandez-Campa said: "There was such complete chaos at the Security B [lane] of Terminal 1 that passengers were either dehydrated or almost urinating themselves in a never-ending queue that almost turned into a mob due to Manchester Airport's neglect.

"It took us four hours to walk 300 metres, squeezed in like cattle in the biggest Covid breeding ground in the UK.

"Passengers were jumping over the barriers scared of missing the flights and these were either cancelled or severely delayed.

"Our flight was delayed by nearly three hours and we were the lucky ones.

"There was so much tension that police had to step in several times and I am surprised that no violence broke out or medical emergencies happened.

"The staff were barely visible, demotivated, inefficient and clearly not in charge. I do not blame fully on them as the staff numbers were too low to cope with more than 100 passengers.

"The international gateway to Manchester is a national embarrassment."


Others said that when they arrived at Manchester Airport, there were collections of abandoned luggage on the carousels and "no staff" were there to help.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: "We apologise to passengers whose experience yesterday at Manchester Airport fell short of the standards they expected.

“As we recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, our whole industry is facing staff shortages and recruitment challenges. As a result we are advising customers that security queues may be longer than usual, and we encourage them to arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airline.

“Due to the security checks and training associated with these roles, it takes time to for people to be able to start work in our operation.

"That is why we are exploring a number of short-term measures to deliver the best possible service we can, such as the use of agency staff and different ways in which existing colleagues can support our operation.

“We are aware similar challenges are being faced by airlines and third parties, such as baggage handling agents, operating on our site.

"Together, we are working hard to deliver the best possible service we can in the circumstances, and to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Brits with plans to go abroad over the Easter holidays were warned queues in airports will be longer than usual due to staff shortages.


The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has warned travellers they should expect delays if they are taking a trip at peak times.

Airports and airlines were hit hard during the pandemic, as many staff lost their jobs or moved into other industries.

As a consequence, airports have been put under strain, and they are expected to struggle as thousands of Brits jet off for a foreign holiday over Easter.

Karen Dee, chief executive of the AOA, cautioned passengers they could be waiting longer in the airport if they fly during peak times.

She said: "Airports have been preparing for this for some time, but at peak times passengers may not have the experience they are used to."

"Airports are working hard to recruit more staff in a very competitive labour market and are working with the UK government to resolve any delays in the necessary checks before staff can start work."

She encouraged passengers to get to the airport early and to have your passport and any necessary Covid documents ready so you can get through check in as quickly as possible.

She continued: "If airports and passengers work together, we can get everyone on their way as smoothly and quickly as possible."

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British Airways passengers have experienced a lot of travel chaos in recent weeks due to a series of IT failures.

On Wednesday, more than 40 flights were cancelled due to a technical issue, which had a knock on effect on passengers flying on Thursday.

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