A family missed their flight to Barcelona to celebrate a Ruby wedding anniversary due to queues at Manchester Airport – and say they had to shell out £614 for new tickets to save their trip. Mike Turner, 41, had traveled to the hub from Stockport with husband Luke Hartbottle and parents Tom and Marie Turner, at a special party to celebrate 40 years of their marriage. EasyJet tickets, he says, had cost him around £630.
However, Mike claims that a wait for baggage check-in, security queues that engulfed the airport, and an additional delay at baggage scanners caused them to arrive at the door too late to catch their flight. Mike managed to get new tickets for a one-way flight eight hours later with Vueling for an extra £614.25, but he says the delay ruined their getaway – and caused them to miss a specially planned day trip .
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Professor Mike, 41, said: ‘It was as if this trip we had planned for years for my mum and dad, with a nice hotel and tickets to the Sagrada Familia, had been sabotaged for something which was not our fault.
“He was already two years late because of the Covid. I really felt sorry for the staff, the woman at the gate apologized but said the plane had to leave and the pilot couldn’t wait. Our bags had been removed.
Mike says that while waiting at the airport for their Plan B flight, they met passengers who missed their trip to Croatia and two couples who did not fly to Palma, again due to flight delays. security. It comes as staff shortages caused weeks of chaos and their ordeal came the day before Andy Burnham warned the disruption could last two months and asked passengers to arrive at the hub three hours before their flights.
The family had arrived at Manchester Airport Terminal 1 at 4am, two hours before their 6.05am flight to the Spanish city with easyJet. However, on arrival Mike says it took an hour to check in their bags due to a queue.
They then found the end of the security queue, which was in the forecourt of the terminal. “There were so many people that the queues crossed. Nobody told anybody where to go. It looked like the people working there were doing their best, but there just wasn’t enough,” Mike added.
Mike says he later discovered that staff were calling people whose flights were leaving around 6.30am, but those calls weren’t made outside the terminal where they were queuing. Mike said they had gone inside several times to speak to staff but were reassured they would be called if needed.
“This meant that we didn’t find out that our flights had been prioritized for faster security until we entered the building, and at that point they also prioritized flights leaving later, so we were told to join another queue with all those people too,” added Mike.
He added: ‘When they told us where to go inside there were so many people complaining that they hadn’t followed it like they might have so they couldn’t show us. We ended up queuing with everyone.
When the family finally made it to security, another passenger’s bag was removed for further checks and the process for other passengers was halted, Mike says, as they tried to find a senior manager to check it.
“We told them our flight was due to leave five minutes ago, but they did nothing. There was no manager to search the bag so we all had to wait. All of these things were happening where if they had just enough people trained ahead of time, we probably would have made it in time. There are so many things that have stopped us along the way.
A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “We apologize to those passengers whose experience at Manchester Airport over the past few days has not lived up to their expectations.
“Our industry is facing challenges in scaling up operations very quickly following the removal of Covid restrictions, which have caused immense damage to our sector over the past two years.
“We are actively recruiting for hundreds of new roles in areas such as security, but are advising passengers that due to staff shortages they may have to wait longer than usual in the coming weeks. , and that they should arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airline.
“We recognize that all parts of the aviation industry face similar challenges, and this can impact other parts of the airport experience, such as check-in and baggage claim. That’s why we’re committed to working with our partners to ensure the end-to-end experience is as smooth as possible during the recovery period.
An easyJet spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry for the delays Mr Turner has experienced at Manchester Airport, due to longer than usual queues as well as security delays. ongoing at the airport We advise customers to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flight and continue to work with Manchester Airport to ensure a solution is found for our customers.
“We are reaching out to Mr. Turner to apologize for his experience and any inconvenience this has caused, and to extend a gesture of goodwill to him.”
A spokeswoman later said there were no reports of queues at baggage drop at the time, purely for security reasons.