'Absolute shambles' at Manchester Airport as passengers arrive eight hours early for flights - YORKSHIRE LIVE
Travellers flying out of Manchester Airport were once again hit with travel chaos and queues on Friday morning. The ever-busy Terminal Two was packed, with photos showing huge queues snaking towards Terminal One.
And, to add insult to injury, the TUI website has also been reported as down - so weary travellers were not even able to access help or check-in online. One person shared a photo of the Terminal Two queue early this morning and said that, with the TUI website down, it was "no wonder the queues [were] so bad".
They said that the situation was an "absolute shambles" and said that all passengers were forced to check in at the desk, instead of checking in online. They continued: "Only planned on taking a carry on bag to avoid this mess but what is the point if I am going to have to queue anyway."
TUI, which has already been forced to apologise to customers for cancelled flights and delays during half term, insisted that there were no "operational issues" this morning but said that problems were caused by passengers arriving a staggering eight hours early for flights. With the news of travel chaos on many passengers minds, people have been arriving even earlier in a bid to beat the queues.
A spokeswoman for TUI told the M.E.N : "I can confirm there were no operational issues at Manchester Airport this morning. Unfortunately, there are passengers arriving up to eight hours before their flight which contributes to a longer wait time. Also online check in closes six hours before flights."
But other passengers were raging at the "utter carnage" at the airport. One person wrote on Facebook: "Manchester airport utter carnage, 2 hours 45 minutes to check in and get through security, no breakfast, now boarding plane."
Related video: Queue for TUI check-in desks at Manchester Airport Terminal 2
Video Player is loading. Queue for TUI check-in desks at Manchester Airport Terminal 2
Other passengers in other terminals reported no issues and airport officials said the issue in T2 had nothing to do with security, which they said had experienced no significant problems today.
Another wrote: "And we’re off! Don’t believe the hype… Manchester airport was a breeze."
Today's queues come as two airlines face possible strike action later this summer. Last week it emerged Ryanair cabin crew plan walkouts in Europe. Strikes are set to take place in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium which could impact services on UK routes.
Unions in Belgium representing staff at the budget airline are the latest to announce walkout plans as the main summer holiday season commences. According to unions staff are planning to strike in Belgium and Portugal from June 24-26, France from June 25-26 and in Italy on June 25.
Staff in Spain are expected to strike on June 24-26, June 30, and July 1-2. In Belgium industrial action will come as a blow to passengers as Ryanair operates 17 planes from Charleroi and two aircraft from Brussels.
British Airways workers based at Heathrow have also voted to strike in a dispute over pay. Members of the GMB and Unite backed industrial action.
The unions said holidaymakers face disruption, warning of a summer of strikes. Workers, including check-in staff, will now decide on strike dates, which the union said were likely to be held during the peak summer holiday period.
In April, the boss of Manchester Airport quit amid a growing backlash over long passenger queues, staff shortages and calls from city leaders for management to 'get a grip' of the growing crisis. The problem has persisted, however.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports confirmed at the time that Karen Smart has decided to leave the business after eight years. Karen, who took on the Managing Director role at the start of the pandemic, has navigated the hub through the impacts of Covid-19, and has also led the start of its controversial recovery.