Dad blasts Birmingham Airport after paying £2,400 so family could skip 'chaotic' queues

Pictured is Andy Moore's daughter Melissa, her partner Jack, and their 6-month-old baby.
-Credit: (Image: Family Handout)

A Birmingham grandad has slammed Birmingham Airport after he paid £2,400 to upgrade his family to business class in order to avoid 'chaotic' queues to security. Business adviser Andy Moore criticised airport bosses for not 'prioritising women and young children' in the lengthy queues that have caused misery for passengers in recent weeks.

Mr Moore's daughter Melissa, her partner Jack, and their 6-month-old baby arrived in the UK two weeks ago from Sydney, flying into Birmingham on his recommendation. But Mr Moore said he 'regretted' suggesting they fly into BHX, with their return flight scheduled for early Saturday morning, when queues are 'worse' than other times of the day.

After being 'unable' to book a fast-track ticket in the week before the flight, Andy decided to pay for a business class upgrade through Qatar Airways - which gives passengers a priority pass through security - so his family could avoid the 'stress and pressure' of queuing with their baby. He said the queue 'chaos' was doing 'huge reputational damage' to Birmingham Airport and the wider region.

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Andy's family flew back to Sydney, via Doha, on Saturday, June 22. Days before they were due to fly, Andy claims he visited the airport to assess the situation and enquire about buying a fast-track ticket, which he claims were 'unavailable' at the terminal.

He says he tried to buy a fast-track ticket on the airport's website for a 'week' prior to his family's flight, but was unable to do so as they were sold out. The pass has been highly popular after large crowds of travellers have been faced with large queues at certain pinch points.

Andy Moore's daughter, Melissa, and his grandson, Henry, flew out of BHX last weekend.
Andy Moore's daughter, Melissa, and his grandson, Henry, flew out of BHX last weekend. -Credit:Family Handout

Andy Moore told BirminghamLive: "I've had to pay for a business class upgrade for my family just so they can avoid the stress and pressure of queuing at the airport. I'd be more than happy to pay for the fast-track service but you just can't get it.

"The way the airport has put this extra pressure on people is not on. Families with very young children are being expected to queue for hours which isn't right. What if the baby needs feeding, what if they need changing? What do they do?

"My daughter had a 24-hour journey ahead of her - ane waiting hours in a queue with a young child isn't going to help anyone. It's a nightmare to start a journey, it's stressful enough travelling with young children. I regret suggesting that they fly into Birmingham."

Birmingham Airport queues on Saturday 22 June.
Birmingham Airport queues on Saturday 22 June. -Credit:Family Handout

Holidaymakers have faced lengthy wait times at Birmingham Airport in recent weeks, since the government's last-minute changes to hand liquid rules, where it ordered airports to restore the 100ml limit. This week, Birmingham Airport bosses warned passengers against turning up too early for their flights, particularly when they only have hand luggage, saying this was contributing to security queue woes.

Business adviser and mentor Andy Moore also criticised the decision to remove escalators from the airport, instead forcing people to queue for lifts, saying it was 'adding to the problem.' Terminal escalators were removed last year amidst ongoing works to get the "state-of-the-art" security hall completed.

Mr Moore continued: "They've taken out the old escalators and replaced them with lifts, which will never have the same capacity. There have been small improvements, but this has been going on for months.

"It's not acceptable. Women with infants and children are being made to queue for hours just to get through security. It's madness - they should be prioritised. In Sydney and Doha airports, families with young children were waved through straight away, why is that not the case in Birmingham?

"In the past few months, everyone I know has had a nightmare journey through Birmingham Airport. This situation is doing huge reputation damage to the airport and our region."

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson said: "We are sorry that Mr Moore felt he had to upgrade his tickets to business class in order to use Express Lane through security. To ensure that the Express Lane product does provide the service it should, tickets are limited.

"Over the last ten days security queues have averaged just over 11 minutes with the peak at just over an hour. For any queue that may occur at peak periods our colleagues are in the area and can assist customers should they need assistance without losing their place in the line."