Passengers fuming over Birmingham Airport queues 'told to turn up extra early'

Holidaymakers have been expressing their frustration over the 'shameful' queues at Birmingham Airport yesterday, Thursday, June 6. They found themselves in a huge line that extended well beyond the front doors of the building. Coventry Live readers have been sharing their experiences in our comments section.

One described it as 'carnage' while another passenger said it was 'shameful', BirminghamLive has reported. A reporter from our sister website was among those in the queues as she was heading on holiday. She said that her journey from the queue outside the airport, through security, and up to the departure gates took one hour and 17 minutes. Alison Woolhouse, another passenger, reported being directed to a massive line outside the terminal after she had checked in her luggage.

The airport's £60m security hall upgrade, which was completed last month, experienced well-documented queuing issues during its construction. The airport has stated that it is "unable to predict queue times" and has characterised the problems as a "usual busy morning," despite the fact that they persisted well into the evening. Since these problems are happening before the busiest summer vacation season, many people who must travel will be hoping for a swift remedy.

Commenter Frostmeister had a decent experience: “Flew out of BHX Monday morning, 30 minutes to do bag drop and get through security. I did pay for the £5 express lane, but the normal queue was still flowing well.”

Deleteme writes: “Turning Birmingham airport into a joke. Queuing outside, they're lucky the weather hasn't been too bad. And if lifts are going to be the only way to security it's not going to improve even when complete I reckon.” Wler agrees: “Wonderful to think passengers pay a premium to fly from this airport of Birmingham!!”

Mouse111 says: “Nothing wrong with the actual airport, it's a sign of total mismanagement and it's just getting worse and worse. What's going to happen when the kids break up from school? The thought of flying from BHX would fill me with dread. If you're booked to fly, good luck.”

Over on Facebook Rich Barry says: “We went though fairly quickly on Sunday it felt quicker than normal. The problem is the people coming on trains having to go down to come back up again. Also there needs to be more signs of what you can wear, as there were people taking off shoes belts etc.”

Hackettboy also thinks there needs to be more information available: “The problem I’ve had twice is they only had one security station open , we were all waiting for over an hour, if they had staff in the right place at the right time this wouldn’t happen. Plus the constant mixed messages from the airport, you have to put your liquids in a bag then you don’t, then it’s any size then it was back down to 100ml.”

Angela Gardner can’t see an issue: “We got there 4 hrs before our flight, which was 10am, had no problem checked in through security and sat eating breakfast at 8.10am.” Mel Robertson agrees: “I had no issues with Birmingham Airport. I got there early because of the media scaremongering and ended up spending the extra time in the airport lounge, it was bliss.”

Kirsty Smith had a less relaxing experience: “We flew Tuesday! Wasn't the best experience!! Had to queue outside and you felt dizzy walking round the bollards! The bag drop opens 2 hours before flight then you have to go upstairs in lifts to the security, if you want to look around duty free you don't have a chance...only had time for a quick stop at WHS to get a drink then you're on the plane.”

Neil Logan blames the passengers: “The issue is people turning up early to check-in and blocking the departures. They won't let you check your bags in until 2 hours before - turn up when you are supposed to and there are no issues. I was in the terminal today and check in was only letting passengers on flights within the 2 hour window to check their bags in, many people were just hanging around blocking the terminal as they got there too early.” Caz Marie agrees: “We had no problems last Saturday during school holidays, it really is the early arrivals causing problems.”

Jayne Mitchell points out: “We were told by Tui to turn up an extra hour early, 3am not 4am, security and shops opening early too, so I guess people may be doing as advised when leaving extra time.”

Providing an update on the new security hall, a Birmingham Airport spokesperson said yesterday: "Birmingham Airport is one of the first UK airports to meet the June 1 Government deadline for the implementation of new security screening standards for passenger and cabin baggage. However, certain liquid restrictions will remain in place.

"In due course this new equipment will allow liquids of up to two litres to be taken through in cabin baggage, however some restrictions temporarily remain in place. Until further notice, passengers are advised that they can only carry liquids up to 100ml, albeit it can stay in hand luggage and no longer needs to be in a plastic bag, when departing from Birmingham Airport.

"The Airport has invested £60m in its new larger security area. This area is purpose built with simpler, streamlined equipment and will futureproof Birmingham Airport from its current 12 million passengers per year in 2024, to accommodate 18m passengers per annum by 2033."

We have contacted BHX for an update on today's travel times.

Have you been caught up in the queues or did you sail through the airport? Share your experience in our comments section.