'We documented Birmingham Airport queue shambles – it took so long we nearly missed flight'

Couple documents just how long 'shambles' Birmingham Airport queue takes
-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

A couple have revealed just how long the "shambles" of a queue at Birmingham Airport took them to get through this morning (Sunday, June 9).

Wes and Pete, taking to Twitter/X at 5:18am, shared footage of the throng of travellers waiting outside the airport in the security check line. They wrote in their first post: "Let's see how quickly we get through."

Their journey through the queue was so lengthy that they nearly missed their flight to Cyprus. By 6am, they updated followers that they had reached "the tent by the terminal, which is slow to get through". They finally entered the building at 6.07am, only to find "there's more of the long queue" inside.

An hour into their wait at 6.18am, they were still "queuing to get to the lifts to get up to the bag check area", packed in with other passengers every step of the way. After an arduous one hour and 45 minutes, they had "just about made it".

Their concluding post read: "Well we've just about made it. Got through Birmingham Airport security queue with the boards telling us 'final call'. No time to buy anything, get food, go to the loo, make use of the lounge I've paid for or sit down after being on our feet for well over two hours. Absolutely shambles and a terrible, stressful, exhausting start to the holiday.

"When bag drop doesn't open until two hours before the flight, and it takes one hour and 45 minutes to clear security, it's just absolutely the most stressful start to the holiday. My advice to everyone is get here three hours before, drop your bag as early as you can, wrap up, make sure you have drinks and food for the queue - and vow to yourself never to fly from this dump until they sort their s**t out."

Other travellers expressed their gratitude to Wes and Pete for sharing images and videos of the situation. One commented: "Thanks for posting. I'm flying Tuesday morning so kind of hoping this is for a weekend day and not reflective but if you chance it you're b*ggered."

Birmingham Airport has come under fire this week after images of long queues were circulated on social media. The airport management suggested that passengers not adhering to baggage rules could be adding an extra 20 minutes to each person's journey through security. This comes in the wake of a new government directive temporarily reinstating rules prohibiting liquids over 100ml in hand luggage.

Nick Barton, Birmingham Airport's chief executive, stated: "It is now imperative that all customers comply with the nationwide rule, to ensure a smoother and simpler transition through the airport. A non-compliant bag with liquids over 100ml can add up to 20 minutes to each passenger's journey through security."

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson told us today: “Following the Government ruling effective June 9th the 100ml temporary rule is now enforced across all UK airports. Our new security area was designed, and resourced, to accommodate the increase to two litres being carried in cabin baggage, this currently cannot be operated with the temporary restriction.

“In order to have full compliance to this new directive we have further amended our operating process. We now have ‘liquid check stations’ at all entrances to the terminal where colleagues are directly assisting passengers to ensure liquids containers over 100ml are removed.

“With these additional checks we have seen a large proportion of customers still arriving with liquids over 100ml in their bags and these have to be regrettably removed and disposed of. Containers that can carry more than a 100ml are permitted but, need to be completely empty. Our security flow rate has been continuous today, helped by these extra checks and we welcome and appreciate the co-operation of our passengers in eliminating oversize liquids from their cabin baggage. The outdoor queues seen today are from ‘liquid check stations’.

“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.”