Long queues and irate passengers plague Manchester Airport amid staff shortage

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Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1 was like a scene straight out of a long-weekend traveler’s nightmare as passengers were forced to queue for hours from as early as 04:00 on May 2, 2022.

Irate travelers have taken to posting video clips and photographs on Twitter, showing passengers queuing outside the airport in the early hours of the morning. 

Airports like Manchester and Vancouver are prime examples of airport managements not having enough manpower to meet the predicted ‘revenge travelers’ as global tourism gradually picks up post-pandemic. 

Manchester Airport has been experiencing long queues for several weeks now, with the airport’s managing director quitting in early April 2022 after long wait times left travelers missing flights.

The airport’s management has been transparent in communicating what it is experiencing, and addressing what travelers should expect.

“The simple fact is that we don’t currently have the number of staff we need to provide the level of service that our passengers deserve. Despite our efforts since last Autumn, the tight labor market around the airport has meant we have just not been able to hire people quickly enough to establish a full-strength team,” Charlie Cornish, Manchester Airport Group’s CEO said in an online statement.

“Practically, staff shortages mean that we cannot open all the security lanes we need and at times, this results in longer queues than we want to see. While we still expect most passengers to get through in less than 30-40 minutes, there will be times over the next few months when waiting times will rise to between 60 and 90 minutes,” Cornish added.

Cornish shared that the airport is currently recruiting and training to address the issue of staff shortage.

“To achieve this, we are busy recruiting new officers and taking them through the rigorous training and testing needed to work in aviation security. We are doing this in one of the most challenging employment markets we have seen, with competition from many other businesses that find themselves in the same position,” Cornish said.


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