THE boss in charge of Manchester Airport has resigned after another day of travel chaos and warnings that passengers may face delays in the coming months.
Families trying to get away for the Easter holidays have been stuck in more queues today after days of troubles have thrown holidaymakers into chaos.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports, confirmed this afternoon that chief executive Karen Smart has decided to leave the company after eight years.
But despite her decision to bail, there won’t be a break for clients dying to leave.
Long queues and delays could continue for months due to Covid staffing shortages and a slow return to recruitment.
The police may even be called in to help resolve the crisis.
Ms Smart resigned after Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer urged management to “get a grip or get out”.
MAG announced this afternoon that she has decided to return to the south of England, where her family lives, to “pursue new career opportunities”. Her temporary successor has already been announced.
MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said he was “sorry” about losing Ms Smart, but added, “I understand her desire to return down south for family reasons and to actually explore new career opportunities.”
Following further chaos today, BALPA pilots’ union general secretary Martin Chalk said: “The chaos seen at UK airports could be repeated throughout the summer because debt-ridden airlines have yet to rehire enough staff.”
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He added that he had “warned” ministers about Easter disruption but nothing had been done to prevent it.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said they are even debating calling in police and fire services to help tackle the chaos, telling the BBC: “I was in touch with colleagues from Greater Manchester Police over the weekend, to see what we can do to support the airport.”
Some airline industry figures have accused the government for the lack of staff, because the security check takes several weeks longer than usual.
Huge queues formed at Manchester Airport in the early hours of this morning as hundreds of people waited to board their flights as early as 3:30am.
One woman tweeted a video of the long lines and commented: “Well that’s a 4.45am birthday present at #ManchesterAirport.
“This is just the security queue that starts outside the building. I need 4 feet to go through this part of the queue.”
Another person wrote: “If you never see me again…I’m still waiting in line at #manchesterairport a total disgrace.”
“Mile-long line in front of the terminal building for security reasons.”
Passengers are even switching flights to other airports – Raj Singh told the BBC he switched his flights to London Luton because he had “no confidence” in Manchester Airport.
If you never see me again, it’s because I’m still waiting in line at the airport
Manchester Airport has blamed staffing problems for the delays as holidaymakers “jumped over barriers” and trays piled in front of security scanners over the weekend.
It comes just hours after easyJet and British Airways were forced to do so Cancel hundreds of flightsdue to staffing issues.
The problems are not just a British problem; At Dublin Airport this weekend, travelers complained about missed flights due to long queues at airport security.
A spokesman has traced the problems to a struggle to reinstate staff after a number of staff were laid off during the pandemic.
This was announced by a source at another airport telegraph: “For the passengers, the travel experience will feel different than they are used to [pre-pandemic].”
And it’s not just the airports that are facing problems – the Suspension of P&O Services saw queues of up to nine hours at weekends in Dover.
Even the Eurotunnel has been plagued by delays of up to three hours after a train has stopped in the tunnel.
Here’s what you should do if you Flight is cancelled.
And we’ve explained how you can claim compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8608357/airport-queues-manchester-delays-months/ Manchester Airport chief is giving up after another day of travel chaos and warnings of MONTHS of long queues