Birmingham Airport issues urgent warning to passengers as 'non-compliant' bags cause delays

Birmingham Airport terminal building
Birmingham Airport staff have issued a plea to passengers after long queues to get through security -Credit:Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Airport has issued a plea to passengers to 'make sure they are prepared' as 'non-compliant' bags are causing delays. The airport has seen an increase in the number of people missing flights due to long queues at security, with 15 per cent of hand luggage bags currently being rejected.

The situation was exacerbated by a 'technical issue' with its security lanes on Monday, leading to further delays ahead of the busy bank holiday weekend. The airport is currently undergoing a major refurbishment of its security hall, with state-of-the-art scanners being installed to speed up wait times.

From June 1, passengers will no longer need to remove liquids and electronics from their carry-on bags for scanning. However, confusion over the current rules is believed to be contributing to the delays.

Read more: Birmingham Airport passengers say 'get there four hours early' amid 'brutal' scenes and delays

The airport has reportedly seen an increase in the number of 'non-compliant' bags since it began installing the new equipment.

A spokesperson for the airport told BirminghamLive that each rejected bag adds an average of ten minutes to the screening time. As a result, bosses have urged passengers to familiarise themselves with the existing security guidelines to avoid further hold-ups during bag checks, reports Birmingham Live.

Holidaymakers are being urged to get their luggage in order 'before the security search area' by taking out four essential items for separate screening. The airport addressed concerns about long queues on Twitter, advising: "We advise passenger to make sure they are prepared before the security search area."

"Please empty bags of any liquids, creams and gels. Please remove any large electrical items and place them flat within the security trays."

While new security scanners are being tested ahead of their official rollout in June, travellers are reminded to adhere to existing protocols unless instructed otherwise. An airport representative commented: "The airport has been a working building site for 18 months, and continues to be, while we build for our future with a new security area. Queuing and walking routes are constantly changing however our colleagues are around for any help and assistance in the terminal. We apologise to our customers for the impact this transition may have from time to time."

Additionally, the airport's website advises: "Have travel documents ready for inspection. Comply with your airline's guidelines on cabin baggage allowance. Have all liquid, gel or cream toiletries and cosmetics in containers of 100ml or less each in a transparent re-sealable plastic bag ready for security staff to x-ray separately."

Passengers are advised to remove their jackets and coats before passing through security gates. While it's not always necessary to take off shoes and belts, travellers should be ready to do so if requested.

TUI recently urged passengers flying from Birmingham to arrive three hours ahead of their flight, or four hours for long-haul journeys, to allow ample time for security checks. Nick Barton, the airport's CEO, assured that passengers would begin to experience the advantages of the new security systems and a more efficient, straightforward pre-flight security screening process starting from June.

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