Bristol Airport's plea over queue chaos as some travellers arrive five hours early

·4 min read
Huge queues at Bristol Airport on Monday morning left many passengers frustrated. (SWNS)
Huge queues at Bristol Airport on Monday morning left many passengers frustrated. (SWNS)

Bristol airport has pleaded with passengers to arrive within reasonable time for their flights as they blame people arriving five hours early were causing congestion in their terminals.

Angry holidaymakers were complaining about being forced to queue for hours just to get into the terminal at Bristol airport on Monday morning.

Travellers compared the scenes to "a zoo" and claimed there was widespread disorder and confusion - along with several flights being cancelled.

In response Bristol airport issued a statement saying: "For early morning flight departures we are seeing customers arriving five hours prior to flight departure, adding to the congestion in the terminal.

This is something we have not experienced before.

The queue at 5am. (Paul Trueman)
The queue at 5am. (Paul Trueman)

"When customers are queuing before check-in and security opens it provides a negative customer experience for everyone, and one we want to avoid.

"We advise all customers to arrive in the terminal when their check-in opens, this helps us to manage resources and gets customers on their way quickly and efficiently as possible."

People have been arriving early after reports of airport chaos have been swirling for months.

It follows weeks of travel disruption with hundreds of cancelled flights by Easyjet and Tui, causing chaos for both people trying to get on holiday and those trying to get home.

Watch: EasyJet to cancel more than 20 daily half-term flights from Gatwick

Bristol Airport this morning issued an apology and said it had "fallen short" of the standards it expected.

One passenger said: "Only half the security lanes open and not FastTrack. Several hours to get through with queues starting 300m on the road outside.

"Everyone was calling it a zoo - and it was a pretty apt description."

Read more: Half-term travel chaos as flights cancelled and passengers ‘stuck for hours’ at Dover

People had to queue just to get into the terminal on Monday morning. (SWNS)
People had to queue just to get into the terminal on Monday morning. (SWNS)

A spokesperson for the airport said: "We appreciate the frustration experienced by customers early this morning and are sorry for the long queues at security.

It said: "We’ve fallen short this morning but the Bristol Airport team and our business partners are working hard to ensure all customers have a smooth and easy journey through the terminal.

"Each day over 80 per cent of our customers experience less than a 20-minute security queue time, it is only during peak flight operations we extend beyond this – we are focussed on improving this.”

The queues wore organised and as fast as possible, but two of the security stations were closed. (Andy Reynolds)
The queues wore organised and as fast as possible, but two of the security stations were closed. (Andy Reynolds)

On Friday, the airport warned the week of the Queen's Jubilee would be its busiest period since 2019. The airport has said that 300,000 customers are expected to travel through the airport over the holiday period.

People have described the scenes as "disgraceful" - reporting on the "awful service."

One said: "Bristol Airport is a zoo at the moment, terrible service from everyone involved."

Another added: "We couldn't believe how long the queue was just to get into the airport this morning. It was utter chaos. How can things have got so bad?"

Read more: Half-term travel chaos at Gatwick as families face huge queues after flights axed

Some passengers said they felt like they were in a zoo. (SWNS)
Some passengers said they felt like they were in a zoo. (SWNS)

Another passenger said: "They knew it was going to be busy so why couldn't they employ the staff to cope. Waiting for more than two hours queueing for security. What is going on? It's carnage here."

Several major UK airports have faced difficulty getting passengers on planes in recent weeks.

Many airlines and airports are struggling to recruit enough staff after letting many go during the pandemic.

Watch: EasyJet and TUI flights cancelled and long queues at some UK airports as passengers face half-term disruption

EasyJet and Tui have been hit hardest recently, but Ryanair, British Airways and others have also been forced to cancel some flights.

Tui blamed “various operational and supply chain issues” when it cancelled several half-term holiday flights last week.

EasyJet announced last week it cancelling more than 200 flights over the same period.

On top of staffing issues, EasyJet has been beset by technical glitches which forced it to cancel 200 flights last Thursday.

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