Birmingham Airport passengers blast 'chaos' at security gates as others blame 'selfish' travellers

-Credit: (Image: @smoon_lee)
-Credit: (Image: @smoon_lee)

Coventry Live readers have thanked a couple who have shared their experience with the lengthy queues at Birmingham Airport, describing it as a "shambles." Early on the morning of June 9th, Wes and Pete posted on Twitter/X at 5:18 am, showing the crowd of passengers lined up outside the airport for the security check. Their initial tweet read: "Let's see how quickly we get through."

The queue was so extensive that they almost missed their flight to Cyprus. After lining up outside, they finally made it inside the building at 6:07 am, only to discover an even longer queue awaited them. After a gruelling one hour and 45 minute wait, they had "just about made it".

This week, Birmingham Airport faced criticism after photos of extensive queues surfaced on social media. Airport officials have indicated that the delays may be partly due to passengers not following the baggage regulations, potentially adding 20 minutes to the security process for each traveller. The issue has been exacerbated by a recent government directive that temporarily reinstates the ban on liquids over 100ml in carry-on bags. Readers have been sharing their experiences in our comments section.

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Commenter Littlebird is frustrated: “We had the same last year, nearly missed our flight but not to this extent! The huge queues need someone coordinating them, so flights out first get dealt with first. If the system for fluids is not operational yet just dump your fluids. It is different for persons with medications and babies. Stop blaming the passengers, this has been going on for years now and getting far worse by looks of it. Managers are supposed to be able to fix problems and resolve the issue! It is not good reading that this can continue for another 6 months yet and I bet that goes beyond!”

Reader Mart1n agrees: “Only an incompetent management team would keep pointing the finger of blame at paying customers, instead of looking inwards to find the real reasons for the delays. It's clear to anyone that visits BHX that there are far too few staff and they are poorly motivated. It's management's job to address the shortfalls.”

Tryharder writes: “Is this chaos any wonder? For months BHX has been banging its own drum about their 'new' security system becoming live on 1st June, streets ahead of the other major airports. No mention of the revamp including removing escalators, or that they're still waiting for regulatory approvals. This is simply down to mismanagement, misjudgement, and misinformation. Also, why aren't the holiday companies (TUI, Jet2 etc) informing their customers? Some heads need rolling!”

Thors says: “The Airport Management Team is totally incompetent - simple as!! Management should look at Edinburgh airport where the security hall runs efficiently primarily due to staff constantly shouting instructions to passengers BEFORE bags are presented to the scanners. Birmingham staff just wait for non compliant bags to fail in the scanners causing extended delays.”

New York11 thinks: I'm totally confused now! It would help passengers AND BHX Security if BHX actually publicised, CLEARLY, what the new rules actually are - instead of rushing to automatically blame their customers! Passengers are advised by airlines to arrive 3 hrs. before departure - yet the ground staff for some airlines often don't open the desks until 2 hrs before, exacerbating the queues!”

Denblue agrees and points out “Why mess with something if it’s working ? 60 million spent and can’t use the scanners, I wonder who will pay for that ? Oh let me guess…. The passengers!!!”

ASHY87 thinks differently: “If people adhered to the rules then this wouldn't happen. One word SELFISH”

Over on Facebook some commenters are experiencing the same problems: Pietro Cardente says: “Chaos reigns. Went through yesterday around 2pm. Queues, airlines that seem to be getting stricter with carry on bags, only one guy handling the queue at oversize luggage- and then when you get through security it’s overcrowded and worse than the Bullring at Christmas. I’ve been flying from BHX for 35 years and never seen such carnage.”

Ammo LG says however: “They are making the changes to improve the airport system so expect some temporary inconveniences. Stop expecting a golden plated Unicorn glitter service. I flew out this morning. Yes there were queues but they were moving swiftly. Give yourselves plenty of time.”

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson said: “Since our new security area opened in May, we have seen continuous non-compliant bags coming through security causing unnecessary queues and delays to customers’ journeys. This new step in the process is to remove the issue before customers proceed."

“It is now, more than ever, imperative that customers abide by the 100ml rule. This additional layer of control risks slowing down the security process without the support of passengers.”

They added: “For customers who are less able to stand for durations we advise they book the assisted travel service. However, if a customer is queueing during our peak periods and feels they need assistance then our customer ambassadors are in the area and can assist them without losing their place in the line.”

Have you been affected by the queues at Birmingham Airport? Share your experiences in our comments section.

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