'Absolute chaos' as passengers forced to queue outside Birmingham Airport

Long queues outside Birmingham Airport on Monday Credit: Terrys Taxis from Hednesford

Passengers at Birmingham Airport are describing the increasingly long queues, which are now starting outside, as 'unacceptable' and 'frustrating'.

Thousands of people flying from Birmingham Airport have been forced to wait in long queues outside for several hours this morning.

Frustrated holidaymakers reported wait times of up to two hours to reach the security checkpoint, with claims the line was "one kilometre" long and reaching the car park.

It's been a similar picture for the past few weeks, with some passengers even missing their flights due to the huge queues.

Passengers have complained about 'absolute chaos' at Birmingham Airport. Credit: BPM Media

One passenger, who used the airport this morning described his experience as: "Unacceptable! Wearing. Frustrating.

"Birmingham Airport has done nothing to improve.

"I've travelled through the airport three times in the last six weeks and now I'm seriously considering making London Heathrow my local airport.

"I could have left home at the same time (5:30am) and passed through security an hour earlier than I did in Birmingham Airport."

At 8:40am this morning, passenger Matthew Broome said: "We’re waiting to leave now, should have left at 8.20am. I think it was a whole two hours queue for security, I had no bags and checked in online and I'm only going to Edinburgh, so reckon you need three to four hours. "At present, the airport can’t manage the number of flights or passengers, so think it should scale back and reduce what they do until have sorted staffing issues."

Another traveller, Sam, said: "Thousands of people are queueing from inside, all the way outside to the car park. There’s only one entry point as well. And very little security checks open."

BPM Media Credit: Passengers queuing outside Birmingham Airport this morning

In response, Birmingham Airport said: "Of the 7,500 customers booked to fly out of BHX in today’s dawn peak, 99.7% successfully caught their flights.

"Anyone who missed flights was rebooked. 

"Due to the large volumes of people at the airport this morning, we ran security queues outside the terminal to avoid them getting tangled with check-in lines.

"We thank customers for their patience. 

"Our message to departing customers is: Help us help you keep queues moving by removing any liquids, gels, pastes and electrical items from your bags before our security x-ray scanners."

Passengers queueing outside the airport this morning Credit: Terrys Taxis from Hednesford

Last week, airport chief executive Nick Barton admitted the chaos would continue for several weeks.

He blamed a 12-week "lag" between recruiting new employees and making them operational.

He said: "It's still the legacy of the industry being turned back on by the Government's removal of the rules in mid-February."It didn't get very much traction because, until the industry started to show it had a future, a lot of people didn't want to come and start their careers with us.

Queues outside the airport Credit: Sudden Life

Mr Barton adds: "We got well underway with recruitment in February but, because we need to have them security-cleared, only then can we start training them. There's a lag of around 12 weeks."We are seeing a rapid recovery in aviation, which is a blessing, but it's catching up with the staff to make sure we can get back to our normal very good service levels.

"Well over 99 per cent of people caught their flights this weekend against that incredibly busy backdrop. We have now recruited all the people we need for the next three months."They're in training, that's the key thing. They are not available for use until we've gone through the full training process.

"By the end of May, we should be in a much better place in terms of that resource. The key thing [for passengers] is to turn up when their airline says to, not earlier."