A local travel agent office has offered holidaymakers advice for jetting off from Manchester Airport amidst the chaos after some airlines started offering “twilight check-in”.
Hays Travel in Oldham set out some advice for passengers after some holidaymakers reported huge delays and issues with catching their flights at the airport, which recently admitted it didn’t have enough staff to ensure things were running smoothly.
The problems are set to continue for some time, with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham warning queues could continue for two months – just a day after the airport’s managing director Karen Smart quit the company to return to the South of England. Travel agents, especially those in the Greater Manchester area, have been keeping an eye on the chaotic scenes, with many encouraging passengers to buy “fast track” passes to clear security quickly.
READ MORE: Read the letter from Manchester Airports Group CEO Charlie Cornish in full following weeks of travel chaos
However, fast track purchases have now been suspended for the rest of the month, so Hays Travel Oldham have compiled a list of tips to help flyers clear the queues quickly and get on their way. The tips were laid out in a post on the firm’s Facebook page, and stated that passengers not knowing or following the rules was adding to the issues at Manchester Airport.
The firm also said that some airlines were now offering “twilight check-in”, opening up a drop-off point for suitcases the evening before an early morning flight to help passengers avoid delays. Jet2 is one of the firms offering the service, which allows passengers to drop their bags off between 3-8pm the night before a morning flight.
Not all airlines are offering the service though so passengers have been advised to check with their individual flight operators. The travel agent is advising people arrive between three and a half to four hours before their flight, arriving even earlier for long haul trips.
The firm recommended passengers:
- Arrive with plenty of time to spare, suggesting passengers arrive at least 3.5-4 hours before their flight (or earlier if flying long haul)
- Ensure hand luggage is packed correctly, with no liquids, gels, lipsticks or pastes left inside the bag. All liquids must be in containers of less than 100ml and in a clear plastic bag removed from your hand luggage before going through security
- Remove belts and metal jewellery, storing them in your hold luggage or taking them off before going through security
- Wear soft shoes or trainers, avoiding shoes with metal in the heel
- Keep pockets empty when possible
- Remove phones, tablets, laptops, and any electronic item you have to plug into a wall from your hand luggage to go through the security scanners separately from your bag.
- Take off jackets or coats before reaching the front of the security queue to limit any hold ups
- Use the toilet before going through security as it can be a long wait and there are no bathrooms in the security area.
The advice posted by Hays Travel Oldham was accompanied by a short explanation of some of the issues which read: “Unfortunately, there is no magic wand for the current issues and Fast Track purchases have now been suspended for the month of April. Some airlines like Jet2 are offering Twilight Check-in for those flights departing early the next morning so you can drop your cases the evening before between 3-8pm, though check-in for most airlines is running OK.
“The main issue is the staff shortages in security. However, passengers not knowing or following the rules is also adding to the issues. Things should improve in the coming weeks as they start to re-open T3 and recruit more staff. In the meantime, be prepared, be patient and remember, the security staff on duty are doing their best in a bad situation.”