Manchester airport reinforces call to arrive three hours before flights

Manchester airport has reinforced advice to arrive three hours before departure as the summer peak holiday period starts.

The north-west hub revealed that 92% of people passed through security in under 30 minutes in July – a “marked improvement” on previous months. 

In the last week, more than 95% of passengers got through security in under 30 minutes and more than three quarters of people in less than 15 minutes, according to the airport.

The update came ahead of a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation to be screened tonight (Monday) showing passengers crawling through a baggage hatch to help unload bags at Manchester airport, prompting an apology from ground handling firm Swissport. 

The firm said: “We are sorry for our part in the disruption some people have experienced at Manchester airport.  We are doing everything we can to mitigate delays for passengers, including hiring more than 4,100 people since January.”

An airport statement said: “The airport continues to work closely with all the third parties across its site that are responsible for the other processes like baggage, check in, immigration etc to provide support where necessary.

“It also continues to reinforce its advice of arriving three hours before your flight, no earlier or later, which can often add to the issue and create unnecessary queues.”

More than 3.5 million people are set to use Manchester airport this summer – the busiest period since the start of the pandemic – with the top destinations being Palma, Antalya, Dalaman, Dublin and Alicante.

“The whole of the global aviation sector has faced challenges associated with the rapid return of demand since travel restrictions were removed in March,” the airport said.

“The UK’s third largest airport has worked hard to recruit more than 600 new colleagues since the start of the year, in order to overcome some of the issues it faced earlier in the year, and to ensure it can operate all of its airlines’ planned schedules this summer.”

Chief operating officer Ian Costigan added: “We have made huge progress since April, having seen 600 people start work in security since the beginning of the year, with a further 280 waiting to clear background checks and start.

“And we are pleased to report that, as staff numbers have grown, the experience provided to the vast majority of our passengers has improved.

“We are also working closely with third parties across the airport to support their operations.

“As our recruitment continues and more people join the operation, by the autumn we should be back to an improved experience that people are looking for from Manchester airport, and in a much better place for summer 2023.”

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