Father blasts BHX for not 'prioritising women and children' after paying £2,400 for family to skip long queues

Andy's daughter Melissa and her partner Jack with their 6-month-old baby who flew into BHX from Sydney
-Credit: (Image: Family handout)

A father has slammed Birmingham Airport after he paid £2,400 to upgrade his family to business class to avoid the recent 'insane' queues to security. Business advisor Andy Moore criticised airport bosses for not 'prioritising women and young children' in the queues which have caused outrage among passengers.

BirminghamLive reported that Andy's daughter Melissa, her partner Jack, and their 6-month-old baby arrived in the UK 14 days ago from Sydney, flying into Birmingham on his recommendation. However, he said he 'regretted' flying into BHX, with their return flight scheduled for early Saturday morning, when queues are said to be 'worse' than other times of the day.

Andy could not book a fast-track ticket, so he decided to pay for a business class upgrade through Qatar Airways that allows travelers a priority pass through security to avoid the 'stress and pressure' of queueing with a baby. He said the queues were impacting 'huge reputational damage' to BHX and the wider areas.

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The family flew back to Sydney via Doha on Saturday, June 22. Andy went to visit Birmingham Airport a few days before to assess the situation and enquire about buying a fast-track ticket, which he claims was 'unavailable' at the terminal.

He tried to buy a fast-track ticket on the airport website for a 'week' before the flight, but they were sold out. The pass has been in huge demand after passengers have been faced with huge queues at certain points during the day.

Andy 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, and 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."

Passengers have faced long wait times at Birmingham Airport in recent weeks due to the government's last-minute changes to hand liquid rules, where it ordered airports to bring back the 100ml limit. This week, bosses at BHX warned passengers that turning up too early for their flights, especially those with just hand luggage, was impacting the security queues.

Melissa's father Andy had to pay £2,400 to upgrade his family to avoid the queues
Melissa's father Andy had to pay £2,400 to upgrade his family to avoid the queues -Credit:Family handout

Business advisor 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 in 2023 due to on-going works to complete the 'state-of-the-art' security hall.

Andy added: "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 spokesperson for Birmingham Airport said: "We are sorry that Mr Moore felt he had to upgrade his tickets to business class 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."

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