Are there Birmingham Airport queues today? Advice on fast track security, airport lounges, parking and more

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Here is the latest travel advice from Birmingham Airport

With Covid travel restrictions scrapped in March 2022 many people have been looking forward to flying off overseas on holiday once more. But with preparataions for new security measures underway at Birmingham Airport - and a major change for hand luggage restrictions coming in next year it’s always best to plan ahead.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Authoirty (CAA) has released data showing that Birmingham Airport was ranked worst for flight delays in the UK in 2022 - it was also the worst for delays in 2021. Departures from from the airport were half an hour behind schedule on average in 2022, according to CAA data.

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Doncaster Sheffield – which closed in November – and Manchester airports had the joint second poorest punctuality records in 2022, with an average delay of 29 minutes. They were followed by Luton (28 minutes), Gatwick (27 minutes) and Bristol (26 minutes) airports.

In response Birmingham Airport has said that it is “running smoothly” this year. And there are many people who praise the airport for their travel experience, as well as those who encounter difficulties.

In response to the CAA findings Birmingham Airport said: “The start of 2022 was devastated by Covid. After travel restrictions were lifted, the aviation industry fought hard to recover.

“This year, the first since 2020 not impacted by Covid, our airport is running smoothly with customers set to equal or exceed pre-pandemic numbers. Customers using Birmingham airport this summer can expect changes to walking routes as we build our £40 million new security hall, set to be ready for June 2024.”

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The new security hall will also see a change to hand luggage restrictions - including the 100ml liquid rule being scrapped. However there will be a new limit of two litres of liquids in carry-on luggage (more details below). Here are some of the latest social media posts from travellers about the airport.

Other changes at Birmingham Airport include the appointment of a new chairman. Sir Hugh Robertson is due to take up his new role on July 18. The appointment follows an external search process after the current chairman, Tim Clarke, notified the board in January of his intention to retire this summer.

Sir Hugh has served in the Army, worked in the property division of Schroder Investment Management, and in Government as minister for sport and the olympics during London 2012, and as the minister of state in the foreign and commonwealth office.He is currently chair of the British Olympic Association. From 2018 until earlier this year he was chairman of Camelot, the National Lottery operator.

On Tuesday (August 29), Birmingham Airport said that the effects of the air traffic system failure from yesterday (Monday, August 28) can take days to “wash out”. Travel chaos has continued today (Tuesday, August 29) with several flights being cancelled after the countrywide air traffic system failure on Monday (August 28).

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Here are the latest tweets from passengers travelling from Birmingham Airport.

How many people fly from Birmingham Airport?

Some 10.3 million passengers travelled through Birmingham airport last year, making it the seventh busiest in the UK.

In addition to flight delays, many departing passengers were forced to spend several hours in long queues for check-in and security. Around 50 airlines operate at the airport, such as Ryanair, Jet2.com, Tui Airways, Air France and Emirates.

Advice on keeping queues at Birmingham Airport to a mininum when checking in

Here is some advice from Birmingham Airport on how to help keep queues to a minumum when heading off on holiday:

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  • Please help us help you keep queues moving by removing all liquids, pastes, gels, laptops, vapes, lighters, tablets, game consoles from your bags before the x-ray scanners.
  • Our top tip for a swift run through our security screening is to take 2 mins to remove all liquids, pastes, gels and electrical items from your bag before the x-ray scanners. better that 2 mins than an extra 30 getting your bag searched and rescreened
  • please help us help you by:
    • arriving at your airline desks when advised by your airline
    • presenting compliant baggage (liquids & electrical items removed) at the X-ray scanners
    • re-packing bags, after security, in repacking areas
  • Anyone catching a flight - arrive at BHX at the time their airline advises.
Passengers at Birmingham AirportPassengers at Birmingham Airport
Passengers at Birmingham Airport | Getty Images

What is happening with the security upgrade at Birmingham Airport?

A major change is coming go Birmingham Airport from June 2024 as a new security provider, called Smiths Detection, is due to take over checkpoints in a £20m screening upgrade

The new security checkpoints will feature Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX, a computed tomography (CT) X-ray scanner, which produces high-resolution volumetric 3D images for quicker and deeper baggage assessment and low false-alarm rates.

Implementation of the new scanner will allow passengers to leave their liquids and electronics in their hand luggage - and they will no longer have to restrict liquids to 100ml. However there will be a new limit of two litres of liquids in carry-on luggage.

However, passengers are advised to check the rules for carrying liquids at any airport through which they may transfer during their journey and at their return airport, as many destinations may not have implemented this new technology.

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With the change not being implemented until June 2024 Birmingham Airport has stressed that the present 100ml liquid restrictions will remain in place until then.

There will also be a series of different walking routes and queuing spaces in operation at the airport this summer as the security upgrade takes place.

They say the new ‘next generation’ security facility is on course to be operational by June 2024. Until then the existing pre-flight security area remains in use - as do existing security guidelines, including removing liquids and large electrical items from hand luggage.

Nick Barton, chief executive of BHX, said: “Imagine a football stadium having its stands rebuilt and its pitch re-laid while continuing to stage matches … that’s rather like what we’re doing at Birmingham Airport right now.

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“Customers will see construction outside the terminal and various areas cordoned off. Walking routes and queuing spaces, including on the ground floor, will change this summer as work progresses. Our wayfinding and other signage will change too - and, of course, our friendly staff will be on hand to help customers stay on the move.”

He added: “Our new security area is a major investment which will make things quicker and easier for customers. And the improved efficiency it delivers will help grow our annual customer numbers from 12m to 18m by 2033, in turn helping boost economic growth across the West Midlands region.”

You can check the security queue time from your boarding check point, as well information on flight delays on the Birmingham Airport website, here.

When should I arrive at Birmingham Airport?

Generally, check-in for long haul flights (flights between 6-12 hours) will open approximately four hours before departure.

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For short haul services (flights between less than 6 hours), desks will normally open at around two to three hours before departure.

Passengers are advised to check with the airline directly if they wish to confirm precise check-in opening times.

Advice on the customer support section of the Birmingham Airport website says passengers ‘must ensure they allow ample time for the check-in, security and boarding process, and keep a close eye on flight information screens throughout the airport for flight updates and boarding times’.

Birmingham AirportBirmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport | RADAR PA

You can find this by checking the individual airline’s website and searching for your route. You can also speed up the process by checking in online in advance on your airline’s website or on their app.

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Some airlines - including Jet2 - are offering twilight bag drop services at Birmingham Airport, so you can drop off check-in luggage the evening before to smooth the process on the day, but not all airlines do this - you need to check on your airline’s website baggage page in advance for details.

Travelling only with carry-on luggage can speed up your passage through airport - as long as your hand baggage complies with your airline’s size policies and you are not carrying any forbidden items such as liquids over 100ml - see the Government website here for an overview of these items.

Make sure your contact details on your airline booking are up to date too, so your airline can try to alert you to any significant changes or known disruption.

To check which terminals your flight departs from and arrives into, visit the Birmingham Airport website, here.

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Can I buy fast-track security passes for Birmingham Airport?

The Express Lane is a separate lane through security at Birmingham Airport, designed to enable passengers to pass through the security area more quickly to access Passport Control at the UK Boarder Force checkpoint.

You can pre-book online for £5 per person here. Under 5’s can go free - but must be accompanied by a paying adult. Limited tickets are availabe at the airport for £7.50 per person.

You can get 10% off duty free if you spend over £75 in the World Duty Free store and present your Express Lane voucher at the till point (there are restrictions on certain products and it’s only valid until May 31 currently - here are the full restrictions: The discount cannot be used on Chanel products, Macallan whiskies, and all tobacco products. Maximum discount is £20 and the discount cannot be applied to products already on promotion).

Emirates Lounge, Birmingham AirportEmirates Lounge, Birmingham Airport
Emirates Lounge, Birmingham Airport | Emirates Lounge, Birmingham Airport

How much is it to park at Birmingham Airport?

The cheapest and most convenient way to park at Birmingham Airport is to use the online pre-book service, which guarantees you a spot at one of the pre-bookable car parks.

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Currently you can save 60% when you pre-book Car Park 1,2&3, 5&7, Official Valet Parking and the of airport meet & green service.

Birmingham Airport advises: “Book as early in advance as possible to benefit from the cheapest rates, or book as soon as you can online to avoid the expensive gate prices.”

But for those who prefer to turn up on the day there are also a wide range of options for parking that range from very short stops for dropping off passengers in the Premium Set Down, through to long-term parking at the off-site car park.

We’ve had a look at the current prices.

Premium Set Down (1 minute walk from terminal)

Located right outside the terminal building, Premium Set Down is just a short walk to the check in desks, perfect if your passengers have lots of luggage or young children. Blue badge holders can park at the Premium Set Down for 30 mins, for free.

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You will find premium set down at Birmingham Airport with tehpost code B26 3QJ and you can use what3words: ///dizzy.claim.cove Leave the M42 at Junction 6 and proceed along the A45, following the signs to the airport. On arrival, follow the signs for the Premium Set Down car park.

  • 0-5 minutes: £4
  • 15 - 20 minutes: £9
  • 20 -25 minutes: £14
  • 30 -35 minutes: £24
  • 35 - 40 minutes: £29
  • 40 - 45 minutes: £39
  • 45 - 50 minutes: £39
  • 50 - 55 minutes: £44
  • 55 - 60 minutes: £49
  • Each extra 15 minutes thereafter: £5.00

Drop Off car park

Just 400 metres from the terminal, this drop off car park is approximately a 5 - 10 minutes walk to the main check-in desks, via a dedicated footpath. For those with lots of luggage, travelling with children, or who may have mobility issues, there is also a regular, wheelchair-friendly, and free bus service between the car park and the terminal, which picks-up from Car Park 5 – just across the road.

While the Drop Off Car Park has bays set aside for disabled drivers, it’s recommended that Blue Badge holders park at the Premium Set Down Car Park, where you can take advantage of having the first 30 minutes for free.

How to find Birmingham Airport drop off car park: Post code: B26 3QJ; what3words location: ///degree.draw.vibe

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  • 0 - 20 minutes: Free
  • 20 - 25 minutes: £4
  • 25 - 30 minutes : £5
  • 30 - 35 minutes: £10
  • 35 - 40 minutes: £15
  • 40 - 45 minutes: £10
  • 45 - 50 minutes: £25
  • 50 - 55 minutes: £30
  • 55 minutes - 1 hour: £35
  • Each extra 5 minutes thereafter: £5

Car Park 1, 2 and 3

  • Up to 1 hour: £7.50
  • Up to 2 hours : £15
  • Up to 3 hours: £22.50
  • Up to 4 hours: £30
  • Up to 24 hours: £56
  • Over 1 day (per day): £56
  • (Pre-book overstays are charged at the standard tariff of £56)

Car Park 4

  • Up to 1 hour: £7.50
  • Up to 2 hours: £15
  • Up to 3 hours: £22.50
  • Up to 4 hours: £30
  • Up to 24 hours: £55
  • Up to 2 days: £110
  • Per day thereafter: £37

Car Park 5

  • Up to 1 hour: £7.50
  • Up to 2 hours: £15
  • Up to 3 hours: £22.50
  • Up to 4 hours: £30
  • Up to 24 hours: £53
  • Up to 2 days: £80
  • Up to 3 days:£107
  • Per day thereafter: £15

Car Park 7

You’ll find Car Park 7 to, just a short trip from the main terminal. It’s not an on-site car park, but a 10-minute shuttle bus ride will take you straight to the airport’s main terminal.

Free shuttle buses operate 24 hours a day. With over 250 parking spaces and cost-effective pricing, this is the ideal spot for anyone travelling on a budget or who’s holidaying for an extended period. Simply follow the signs to ‘Air Cargo’ to find Car Park 7. The postcode is B26 3QW and the what3words location: ///cool.crest.saving Car Park 7 will be open for entries from 26 May 2023with the last day of operation being 5th November 2023.

The 2023 prices have not been listed. Here are the prices for 2022.

  • Up to 3 hours: £4.50
  • Up to 6 hours: £9Up to 9 hours: £13.50
  • Up to 12 hours: £18
  • Up to 1 day: £37
  • Up to 2 days: £44
  • Per day thereafter: £9.50
  • (Pre-book overstays are charged at £10.00 per day or part thereof)

Elmdon Hotel Short Stay

This short stay carpark has 36 spaces. You’ll find it at Birmingham Airport, Terminal Road, Birmingham, B26 3QW

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  • Up to 15 minutes: Free
  • Up to 3 hours: £4.20
  • Up to 6 hours: £8.40
  • Up to 9 hours: £12.80
  • Up to 12 hours: £15
  • Up to 1 day: £35
  • Per day thereafter: £8.50

Is ther any long-term off-site parking available at Birmingham Airport?

To get a quote on long-term off-site parking, visit the website, here.

Are there lounges at the airport and can I book them?

Birmingham Airport has four lounges which are available to book. These are Aspire, No.1 Lounges, Clubrooms, and Aspire Lounge South. You can save up to 70% if you pre-book.

Each lounge includes free unlimited wifi, complementary snacks, beer, wines and spirits, speciality teas and coffees, soft drinks and fruit juice, magazines and newspapers, showers, business facilities, spa treatments and hot food to order.

Aspire Lounge Before 11am, enjoy bacon, scrambled egg, sausages and baked beans, along with a variety of cereals, pastries, fruit and yoghurts. Later on in the day, help yourself to hot dishes such as pastas, curries and soups.

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The lounge also boasts a fantastic range of snacks and sweet treats available throughout the day. There is a wide range of complimentary wines, beers and spirits (Maximum of three drinks per guest) along with soft drinks, coffee and teas.

The Aspire Lounge at Birmingham Airport changes their menu twice a year to provide guests with an excellent choice of hot and cold food, snacks, soft drinks, hot beverages and alcoholic drinks. Please see all the details you need regarding the menu here: Aspire Lounge Menu.

Prices start from £25.99 for adults (12+) and £18.49 for children. Click here for more info.

Aspire Lounge South Help yourself to a hearty hot breakfast, comprised of bacon, sausages, scrambled egg and baked beans, or enjoy a selection of pastries, cereals, yoghurts and fresh fruit.

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Sweet treats and savoury nibbles are also available. The fully tendered bar offers a wide range of complimentary wines, beers, spirits, and you can help yourself to soft drinks, teas and coffee. Maximum of three drinks per guest.

The Aspire Airport Lounge at Birmingham Airport changes their menu twice a year to provide guests with an excellent choice of hot and cold food, snacks, soft drinks, hot beverages and alcoholic drinks.

Prices start from £28.99 for an adult and £18.99 for a child (2-11). For more information and to book click here

No 1 Lounge This stylish space boasts a mezzanine level, sports lounge, and bistro area - so you can settle in, relax, and watch the fabulous runway views. All dishes are freshly prepared and served buffet style. There’s a fully tended bar, serving English sparkling wines, craft beers and premium spirits.

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Prices start from £34 for adults (12+) and £20 for children. More details at: No1 Lounge

Clubrooms With three spacious rooms, you will find both sophistication and tranquility, away from the hustle and bustle of the main departures lounge. Located in the newest part of the terminal, Clubrooms is also the closest lounge to the majority of the departure gates at Birmingham Airport. Guests enjoy a dedicated waiter who looks after you throughout your stay.

Enjoy complimentary, freshly prepared, seasonal dishes, all served to you by our friendly and attentive team. Clubrooms is an adult only space, guests must be aged 12+ to be admitted. For more information go to: Clubrooms

Are there hotels at the airport?

There are indeed. There are a number of places to stay for passengers, including, Ibis, Novotel, Hilton Garden Inn and a Travelodge. For more information please check the individual hotel websites.

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