Customers took to social media to vent about the slow progress getting through the northern hub, which has been plagued by delays in recent months, with several travellers claiming they’d “never seen it this bad”.
“Anyone travelling out of Manchester Airport in the near future, leave yourself PLENTY of time! The queues are hours long (and I mean hours) and people are missing flights! Never seen anything like it since I started travelling,” wrote YouTuber Simon Wilson on Twitter last night.
“As a regular flyer I’ve never seen it this bad. Feel sorry for the overworked staff who clearly just don’t have the numbers to cope with the passenger load at the moment. Give yourself plenty of time to get through security if you’re flying anytime soon,” agreed Ben Leather on Monday.
Twitter user Rachael A wrote that her sister had missed an easyJet flight due to the delays, saying: “Absolute disgrace my sister is in tears after missing her flight because of security. Begged security staff to fast track her through as gate was closing. No one cares. Disgrace!”
Meanwhile, Andy W posted a photo of security queues going “through the airport, out the door and halfway through the car park”.
So the queue just to get into security at Manchester airport is currently through the airport, out the door and halfway through the car park 😬 V stressful despite being here early. Surely this level of disruption just isn’t sustainable @manairport pic.twitter.com/4iyTZKT1xO
— Andy W (@AndyW606) May 9, 2022
Arthur Jones said he had waited three hours at security in Terminal 3, only to find 60 people still standing at the gate for his Ryanair flight.
Some also reported lengthy waits for luggage at the airport’s Terminal 1.
“Manchester airport management you are a joke! What the hell is going on, waiting for luggage at T1? What the hell is wrong with this country, we are miles behind the rest of the world!” wrote Twitter user @Kat&MS.
Following mega-queues in March and April, the airport has warned passengers to arrive three hours early for flights and have items such as laptops and liquids ready to separate at the security scanners.
A statement from Manchester Airport Group said: “The airport is continuing to advise customers to arrive three hours before their flights, and to ensure they are up-to-speed with the latest rules about what can be carried in hand luggage.
“At the same time, the airport is also asking passengers not to arrive earlier than this because it can lead to extra queues, and check-in and security facilities may not be open.”
Ian Costigan, interim managing director of Manchester Airport, added: "We want to make sure that customers get away on their travels, so everyone at Manchester Airport is focused on bringing in the extra resources we need to continue operating our full flight schedule.
“As we continue to recover, we are reminding customers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight and to ensure they are familiar with all security rules. While the majority of people will get through security in less than 30 minutes, customers need to allow time for check-in and the possibility that security queues may be longer at peak times.”
The airport’s former managing director, Karen Smart, resigned in March amid lengthy delays at both security and baggage claim.
A Manchester Airport Group spokesperson said: “We are aware that at times this morning, some passengers have experienced longer security queues than we would like and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“We continue to make good progress in our recovery from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, both in terms of recruiting the number of staff we need for the summer, and the waiting times experienced by the majority of travellers.
“However, we are still advising customers that there will be occasions when queues will be longer than usual, as was the case for periods this morning due to unexpectedly high levels of absence experienced on the day.”
The spokesperson said that airport management had repurposed terminal one’s car park “in order to effectively manage queues and minimise congestion within the terminal itself”.
They emphasised that all customers should arrive three hours early for their flights, adding: “We would like to thank all our colleagues for their ongoing commitment and dedication and to assure customers we are do everything we can to get back to where we want to be as soon as possible.”