Gatwick queue chaos as passengers complain of THREE HOUR wait at security ‘due to shortage of staff’
- Passengers reported large queues and severe delays at Gatwick Airport today
- The delay appeared to be at security with travelers blaming shortage of staff
- Photos posted online showed thick throngs of people waiting in Gatwick queues
Holidaymakers have reported huge delays of up to three hours at Gatwick Airport this afternoon.
Taking to social media, travelers said a shortage of security staff had seen them stuck in queues for several hours.
The airport apologized for the delays and said it was ‘working hard’ to ‘reduce and remove’ them as quickly as possible.
Photos posted online showed thick throngs of people waiting in queues at the airport today.
EasyJet customers headed to Gatwick today were warned of potential delays and told to arrive two-and-a-half hours early.
Photos taken at Gatwick Airport today show thousands of travelers stuck in long security queues
The airport apologized for the delays and said it was ‘working hard’ to ‘reduce and remove’ them as quickly as possible
An email read: ‘There may be delays at the airport security control before your flight and we recommend that you arrive at Gatwick Airport two and a half hours before your flight time.’
Reacting to the delays, one disgruntled traveler wrote to Gatwick’s Twitter account: ‘Horrendous experience today. You don’t seem to have enough staff. We queued for over 2: 30hours to check in and get through premium security, staff were rude and unhelpful. Not the best way to start our holiday. ‘
Another said: ‘Do not under any circumstances fly from @Gatwick_Airport.
‘South Terminal if you can at all avoid it. Low staff numbers are resulting in a hour-long queue to security … yes TOO security! Then God only knows. Glad I got here really early! Ridiculous. ‘
A third added: ‘Get your act together! Shocking service with baggage, our flight is now nearly 2 hours late taking off and we are still waiting on baggage to go onto the plane before take off!
A Gatwick Airport spokesperson said: ‘A queue has formed for airport security in the South Terminal.
‘The queue is moving however and we are working hard to reduce and remove it completely as quickly as possible.
‘Gatwick Airport would like to apologise to any passengers who have been impacted by this.’
The delays come after industry chiefs have warned British holidaymakers hoping to fly abroad at any time this year to brace for 12 months of travel hell due to unprecedented airline staff shortages caused by Covid self-isolation and mass layoffs during the pandemic.
Experts said that airlines ‘are simply unable to cope with that demand due to a lack of resources’ and warned that the ‘nightmare’ disruption – of the sort seen over Easter, where hundreds of flights were canceled by airlines including British Airways and easyJet – could last all year.
BA has axed hundreds of flights up on some routes to the US and the Far East until September, affecting thousands of travelers after it had already canceled more than 1,000 flights in little more than three weeks.
Routes affected have included from London to Berlin, Dublin, Geneva, Paris, Stockholm, Athens and Prague. The flagship carrier axed another 200-plus flights over yesterday and on Wednesday, affecting an estimated 20,000 passengers.
There are fears that other carriers could also be hit with issues after easyJet canceled hundreds of flights over Easter.
Kully Sandhu, managing director of Aviation Recruitment Network, told the Express: ‘In my opinion, it could be up to 12 months before we see staffing at airports back to pre-pandemic levels. Recruitment for people at airports takes longer than roles elsewhere because of necessary, additional security and background checks.
‘Routine recruitment campaigns ground to halt during the pandemic and have been slow to start again as international travel has had a number of restrictions on it until recently. That means the recruitment pipeline was cut off and needs to be re-established.
‘Aviation has lost its appeal, not only for returners but also for people who have never worked in an airport environment before.’