Travel column with Katie Butler: Disruption and delays - airports struggling with huge demand

Half-term is upon us and it has been a super hectic week giving out tickets as we see our busiest week since the start of the pandemic for passengers travelling abroad.
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Katie Butler writes: It goes without saying that the airports have also felt the pressure, with widespread disruption and many delays.

Thankfully, all our customers have managed to get on their flights, although some have had long queues at security.

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The weekend has been the busiest weekend for the airlines too and it seems that the airports are struggling with huge demand.

AIRPORT: Arrive for check-in three hours before your flight. Photo: AdobeStockAIRPORT: Arrive for check-in three hours before your flight. Photo: AdobeStock
AIRPORT: Arrive for check-in three hours before your flight. Photo: AdobeStock

I am due to travel this week and I’m worried about missing my flight, should I travel to the airport early?

While ordinarily we would advise a two hour check-in, the airports are advising a check-in of three hours and so this is the advice we are passing on to our customers.

However, many customers are travelling to the airports far too early and adding to the disruption.

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You can help speed up your passage through security by familiarising yourself with the process.

This includes knowing what liquids can go in your hand luggage and ensuring they are under 100ml and in a clear plastic bag.

Having your boarding pass or digital boarding passes to hand.

Also, laptops, tablets or other large electronic devices should be taken out of your hand baggage and placed in a plastic tray.

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I am trying to purchase FastTrack security but it is not showing as available, what does this mean?

Many airports, including Leeds Bradford and Manchester, have suspended security FastTrack bookings due to high demand.

The best way to find availability is to keep checking direct on the airport website. If times and dates become available, this will be the first place to find availability.

FastTrack for the month of June for both Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports appears to be full already.

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On Monday, Manchester Airport issued a statement on its website and social media feeds which read:

“We are aware of challenges being faced by a number of airlines and handling agents, which is leading to delays at check-in and baggage reclaim for some passengers.

“Airlines and their ground handlers are responsible for their own check-in and baggage handling services.

Passengers are advised to direct any questions or concerns about these issues, or anything relating to their flight, to their airline, who will be best placed to respond.

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“We are in contact with the senior management teams of the relevant airlines and ground handlers to understand the cause of these issues, and to support their efforts to resolve them as quickly as possible.”

This week, I myself will be travelling to Spain for a three night break and will encounter first-hand the “airport experience”. I am travelling on Thursday, which is the start of what is expected to be another manic weekend at the airports.

I do not have FastTrack booked. I will arrive three hours before my flight and I will have checked my hand luggage thoroughly. Lets see how I get on. Wish me luck!