Birmingham airport saw huge queues and long waits yesterday, with one traveler estimating a “mile long” queue at its peak.
Queues around 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. stretched outside the terminal, with social media users posting videos and photos of meandering lines of tourists waiting in the drop-off area.
“The queues at Birmingham airport are worse than the media reports! Give yourself at least 5 hours before your flight!” Jon Rowe tweeted shortly before 6 a.m.
Not long after 7am, Lee Griffiths posted several photos of the queues, writing: “Total chaos at @bhx_official this morning. Queuing at the door. Not all baggage lines work.”
“Actually all those zoom meetings weren’t that bad,” Matthew Broome joked on Twitter at 7:30am.
Birmingham, along with other UK and Irish airports including Gatwick, Manchester and Dublin, has suffered hours-long queues as travel picks up after the pandemic.
An airport spokesman told the Birmingham Post yesterday that 7,500 people were booked to fly during the day’s peak sunrise period, which had informed the decision to run security queues outside. They said the lines were “long but managed and moving.”
However, a tourist told the Birmingham Post that the tail they had found was “a kilometer” long.
In an interview with BBC Radio W.M. last week, airport chief executive Nick Barton said: “It remains the legacy of the industry that is being reversed by the government’s removal of the rules in mid-February.”
Mr. Barton also mentioned a 12-week “lag” between the hiring of new airport employees and their work in the terminals.
This morning, social media users reported that queues were flowing more smoothly in Birmingham, with several saying security was “super quiet” or praising wait times of around an hour.
The airport’s social media team is not advising passengers to show up before their airline’s recommended boarding time, writing this morning: “We advise passengers to arrive at the terminal in accordance with the check-in time of your airline.
A Birmingham Airport spokesman said: “Queues were handled and moved steadily this morning as we helped many of the more than 14,000 customers who booked to fly from BHX today (Tuesday 10 May).
“As always, we ask customers to arrive at the airport exactly when their airline tells them to, and to help us keep queues moving by removing liquids, gels, pastes and electrical items from their bags before our X-ray scanners. security”.
Manchester airport has also suffered from huge queues in the last week, with some passengers missing flights or crying. Several passengers said yesterday that “they had never seen it so bad.”