Photographs taken at Birmingham Airport, Manchester Airport, Heathrow and other hubs show chaotic scenes as passengers gathered to get away for Easter. One passenger at Birmingham Airport said the line stretched to the back of the building and back round again, while another said she had “never seen queues like it”.
Shane Crossland, who travelled to the hub from Nottinghamshire, took a video of the queue. He wrote online: “The queue for security at Birmingham Airport, this is downstairs before we even get upstairs, at least 2,000 folk queuing the full length of the airport.
“If anyone makes their flights today it will be a miracle.”
This Easter is expected to be one of the busiest ever as millions in the UK make journeys, reports Nottinghamshire Live.
Emily Reed, flying from Birmingham today, tweeted: “Staff doing their best, but only one escalator open to take all passengers to security after check-in.
“I spoke to a couple going to Cancun. They arrived here at 6am, and it has taken two hours to get through security (despite booking FastTack).
“If you’re flying from BHX today, tell police and airport staff which flight you’re on in case they need to move you further up in the queue.”
But the airport told Birmingham Live: “Another busy start with thousands of customers booked to fly out of BHX today, April 15. Once people cleared our boarding pass gate, average wait times for security this morning ranged from 15 minutes to just over half-an-hour as queues ebbed and flowed. “
Pictures taken at Heathrow Airport show the terminals full with tourists queuing to check-in and get through security.
And arrivals at the west London airport said they were forced to wait for more than 120 minutes on a landed plan due to issues getting an air bridge.
This is despite easyJet and British Airways continuing to cancel flights from hubs, including Heathrow, in recent weeks.
Destinations affected include domestic ones, such as Belfast City, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
In departures at Manchester, which has for days seen long queues as people jet out on their Easter holidays, passengers face hour-long waits to get through security.
Airports and airlines, which are currently suffering from a shortage of staff and a rush in demand of international travel with all UK Covid restrictions lifted, have recently warned customers to arrive at least three hours before their flight to avoid delays.
Stansted Airport, which is in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, has urged passengers to consider dropping off their luggage a day early to avoid getting stuck in queues for their flight.
Drivers meanwhile have also been warned they face a weekend of motoring misery, with clogged up motorways and busy A-roads – as well as a hefty fuel bill – on what could be one of the busiest bank holiday travel days on record.
As many as 21.5 million leisures journeys are set to take place across the UK’s road network this weekend, according to the RAC, with the M25 clockwise around Surrey, the A303 near Stonehenge, and the M6 northbound from Liverpool to the Lake District among the congestion hotspots.