Birmingham Airport delays: Easter schools holidays advice from airport bosses

Birmingham Airport has issued a statement following lengthy delays

Staff shortages have caused lengthy delays at Birmingham Airport today (4 April).

Passengers took to social media this morning to express their frustration, including one passenger who had to wait over an hour for their flight to leave the airport.

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Another Twitter user said they were stuck on the tarmac as there were no ground staff. The passenger took a picture and posted it around noon.

Another complained about queues at around 10am and posted a picture. While another passenger claimed they were in “the longest departures queues I have ever seen”.

What’s causing delays?

Passenger numbers are expected to increase as local schools head off on Easter holidays when pupils break up on Friday (8 April).

In a statement issued to BirminghamWorld, the airport said reduced staff numbers due to the pandemic has resulted in staffing issues, and the combined surge in customers is causing issues.

Al Titterington, terminal operations director for Birmingham Airport, said: “The recent lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions is leading to a dramatic upsurge in customers and, in some instances, long queues.

“Last week 83% of customers flying out of Birmingham Airport were through security in less than 20 minutes, which is what we aim for. But some people have had to wait longer and we’re sorry for this.

Passengers at Birmingham Airport

“The cause of the problem is this: having spent the past two years running at about 30% of pre-pandemic volumes, we reduced staff numbers accordingly.

“Now we have a sudden return of people wanting to fly but we don’t yet have the right numbers of security officers to check everyone through as quickly as we or they would like at peak times.

“We’re working to fix this. We’ve been running a big recruitment drive since January. We’re currently hiring and training more security officers every month until we’re up speed.”

Mr Titterington added: “Right now one in 10 bags are being rejected because of liquids and electrical items not being removed from bags before they go through scanners.

“Each rejected item slows up the queue for everyone, so we’d ask people to, please, make sure their baggage is compliant.”

Birmingham Airport also responded to complaints about delays on social media this morning. They have apologised for delays in planes lifting off and said they are working to minimise delays.

On Friday (April 1) a Birmingham Airport spokesman said: “The Easter break will be a big challenge but we are determined to make customers’ experience as smooth and pleasant as possible. To improve queuing times, we’re bringing in additional resources in the peak periods.

“We are also recruiting new security officers to ensure we meet demand, which we expect to return to around 85% pre-pandemic levels.

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