Bristol Airport apology over man missing flight after ‘one-hour-and-30-minute’ queue at security and bag drop

‘Trip ruined!’

Bristol Airport has responded to a man’s complaint that he missed his flight because of a ‘one-hour-and-30-minute’ queue at security and bag drop’ - citing a staffing shortage for the ‘impact on waiting times and service standards’.

With the airport hitting a busy peak period due to the lifting of restrictions and people flying away for Easter, bosses have been urging passengers to arrive at the terminal a minimum two hours before departure.

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However, on Sunday morning, people took to social media to complain about long queues at security.

Plane half empty

Owen Houlihan was due to fly on an EasyJet flight to Murcia on Sunday morning - but said his trip was ruined after missing the departure due to waiting more than an hour and a half to get through security and bag drop. He said that when he got to the gate it was closed and the plane was half empty.

On Twitter, Mr Houlihan said: “Really poor stuff this morning. Held up for more than hour and a half through bag drop and security, one of our party who was behind us manages to get on, we get to gate to get told it’s shut, plane half empty and not leaving until 7am anyway. Trip ruined!”

He added: “What we don’t understand is one of our party was behind us yet got through security and was let on flight. There were no announcements and plane didn’t leave for nearly another 40 minutes.”

Queue of thousands like sardines

Another person called Jamie Campbell, who flew on Ryanair to Ibiza on Friday morning, described being ‘packed four deep in a queue of thousands like sardines’ at security.

He said: “Thought airport may be less busy how wrong was I?! Packed fourdeep in a queue of 1000’s like sardines in security! Boarding pass, covid pass, traveller locator form on my iPhone. Just thinking how far has tech got us?!”

What Bristol Airport said

In response to the queues on Sunday, a spokesperson for Bristol Airport issued a statement to BristolWorld which apologised to those impacted.

It said: “We apologise to customers impacted by above average queue times for security on Sunday 3 April.

“We work closely with all business partners to ensure staffing levels are sufficient to provide our normal high levels of service to passengers. However, on some occasions staff shortages can impact on waiting times and service standards.

“Security and customer service teams were on hand to assist customers during the busy peak period. We constantly review resourcing across all areas and adapt plans to meet demand and build in resilience where possible.

“We advise all customers to arrive in the terminal a minimum of two hours before scheduled flight departure time to allow sufficient time to complete all the necessary check-in, bag-drop, security and boarding processes ahead of their flight.”

In a bid to help speed up the process of arriving at Bristol Airport, bosses introduced self-service kiosks at the reception to the airport’s Silver Zone car park.

It also offers a fast-track security option, giving priority access, for £4.95.