‘Beyond a joke!’: Furious flyers share photos of huge passport control queues at Heathrow and Stansted and a long 3.45am wait to clear security in Manchester amid chaos from the airport continues
- Passengers took to Twitter to lament the early morning delays
- In recent days, families have felt pressured to arrive up to six hours before the flight
- Airports across the country have struggled to recruit staff for months
Furious flyers have shared photos of huge passport control and security queues this morning as chaos continues to plague airports across Britain.
Passengers at Heathrow and Stansted bemoaned the major early morning delays, reportedly due to a lack of staff at the desks, while there was also disruption in Manchester.
In recent days, families have felt pressured to play it safe by arriving up to six hours before their flight to avoid a repeat of the scenes seen at terminals across the country.
Today on social media, one traveler wrote: ‘Lack of passport control staff at arrivals is absolutely ridiculous @STN_Airport.’
Another tweeted: ‘It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that every time I go to @STN_Airport the ePassport machines don’t work… have been queuing for over 2 hours to get back to my own country.’
A third said: ‘After a 6 hour flight landing at 4pm yesterday, waiting in a crowded queue at passport control for an hour with a child was hell on earth. A border agent at the counter for hundreds of families. #Heathrow should be ashamed and embarrassed.’
The Home Office was approached to comment on the passport control delays.
There were long queues for passport control at Heathrow Airport in the early hours of the morning
Meanwhile queues to cross the border at Stansted Airport have been described as a ‘joke’
Another social media user posted images of the queues at Manchester Airport
UK airports continue to face staffing issues following Covid restrictions.
Travel chiefs say the problems have been exacerbated by a huge surge in travel demand after two years of Covid-enforced disruption.
Some have warned that staffing problems, which peaked last month as people rushed for the first unrestricted Easter holiday in more than two years, could last up to a year.
And last week EasyJet announced plans to cut seats on some of its planes this summer so it can operate flights with fewer cabin crew as it also battles staffing issues.
Bosses at Manchester and Birmingham airports said this week the queues were due to ongoing staffing issues.
It is also understood Manchester suffered additional problems, including passengers arriving up to six hours before their flight hoping to bypass queues, creating bottlenecks at already busy times.
It comes as Heathrow today reveals April was its busiest month since February 2020 – before the Covid pandemic – with nearly 5.1million passengers passing through the airport last month.
Growing demand for air travel has also seen holiday giant Tui more than half its losses in the past six months.
The company posted a revenue loss of €614.5m (£525m) for the six months to March 31, following a €1.3bn (£1.11bn) loss ) for the same period a year earlier.
He told shareholders he could return to profit by the end of the year.
It comes as Heathrow today reveals April was its busiest month since February 2020 – before the Covid pandemic – with nearly 5.1million passengers traveling through the airport last month
Tui said he expects a “strong” summer and has already reached 85% of the booking levels seen in the summer of 2019, before feeling the heavy impact of the pandemic.
He said the last quarter had “significantly improved” as the easing of pandemic-related restrictions helped boost bookings.
The travel group said its UK operation “continues to lead the way” for summer bookings, which are currently showing an 11% increase on levels seen in summer 2019.
Tui said he expects overall summer bookings to “near” 2019 levels.
It was supported by holidaymakers booking “more short-term” and also spending more money on each trip, the company said.
Meanwhile, revenue in the past half-year has more than quintupled to €4.5bn (£3.8bn) from the same period a year earlier, when the business was still struggling with Covid-19 restrictions.
Tui Managing Director Fritz Joussen said: “The strong travel demand and the very good commercial performance confirm our forecast.
“2022 will be a good financial year. The capacity is almost reaching the pre-corona level of 2019.
“After two years of crisis, we expect Tui to return to profitability in the current financial year with a clearly positive underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes).
“It’s the basis for new growth.”