Chaos continues at Manchester Airport as easyJet cancel flights due to Covid

More travel chaos is expected at Manchester Airport as EasyJet cancels a number of flights due to coronavirus cases among employees.

The airline blamed the issue on high levels of sickness, with more than 200 trips across UK airports axed since Friday, 1 April.

It comes as passengers criticise the ongoing problems at Manchester Airport, with some claiming that they have faced huge security queues and hours of flight delays.

What are passengers experiencing at Manchester Airport?

Some passengers say they experienced a 30-hour delay, while others say the waited for two-hours at passport control when they landed.

One traveler said it took his family "four hours to walk 300 metres" through security, while "passengers were jumping over the barriers scared of missing their flights".

A video showing people jostling for space as they go through security checks has prompted concerns that 'someone will get hurt'.

"There was so much tension that police had to step in several times and I am surprised that no violence broke out or medical emergencies happened", passenger Carlos Fernandez-Campa said.

"The staff were barely visible, demotivated, inefficient and clearly not in charge.

"I do not blame fully on them as the staff numbers were too low to cope with more than 100 passengers. The international gateway to Manchester is a national embarrassment."

Larger airports like Heathrow, in London, have also experienced serious delays, which they have blamed on the high volume of passengers.

Queues at security in Manchester Airport. Credit: MEN Media

What do Manchester Airport say?

Bosses at Manchester Airport have apologised and admitted passengers' experiences fell "below the standard we aim to provide".

“As we recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, our whole industry is facing staff shortages and recruitment challenges.

"As a result we are advising customers that security queues may be longer than usual, and we encourage them to arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airline.

“Due to the security checks and training associated with these roles, it takes time to for people to be able to start work in our operation.

"That is why we are exploring a number of short-term measures to deliver the best possible service we can, such as the use of agency staff and different ways in which existing colleagues can support our operation."

What should I do if I am catching a flight from Manchester Airport?

A spokesperson has urged all passengers due to depart from Manchester to arrive at the airport "at the earliest time your airline allows".

They have also advised travellers to prepare hand luggage for security screening to avoid delays:

  • Liquids must be 100ml or less and placed in a clear, resealable bag

  • Remove large electrical items from your bag

  • Limit your hand luggage

  • Keep security trays to a minimum

Damaged bag at Manchester Airport. Credit: MEN Media

I'm an easyJet passenger and my flight has been cancelled - what do I do?

The delays come as easyJet cancel more than 200 flights across the UK due to sickness caused by coronavirus, affecting around 15,000 passengers.

The airline said it had made efforts to offset staff shortages by “rostering” additional standby crew, but was forced to make “additional cancellations" on Sunday and Monday.

If your flight has been cancelled, travel expert Simon Calder explains how you can get compensation from the airline.