Airports and airlines prepare for Easter; Sydney airport chaos will continue for weeks


There is darker news for travelers planning to fly from Sydney as the city’s airport is overwhelmed by a third day of utter chaos.

There is more bad news for people traveling over the Easter holidays after days of chaos at Sydney Airport.

As travelers faced massive queues for a third day of travel chaos, Sydney Airport said the unusually busy scenes could last for weeks, possibly extending into Anzac Day later this month.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals moving passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney Airport spokesperson said.

“[We’re] anticipating that he will [be] busy throughout the school holiday period and peaking on Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

The contracted airport security company, Certis, is trying to recruit more staff to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, airport back office, IT and retail workers have been reassigned to the departure hall to search for passengers at risk of missing their flights so they can be given priority.

Chaos could also hit Melbourne, Gold Coast

Meanwhile, Melbourne Airport has also warned that it expects the Easter holidays to be the busiest travel period in two years, with 1.4million travelers expected over the next two and a half weeks.

The airport’s aviation chief encouraged people to plan ahead and arrive early.

“Processing times may be longer than usual, and we expect there to be check-in and security queues,” Lorie Argus said.

“The road network will also likely be busy, and passenger drop-off points and car parks will be congested during peak hours.”

Ms Argus urged travelers to respect each other and airport staff.

Earlier this week, Gold Coast Airport recorded its busiest days in two years with more than 21,000 passengers on Friday April 1.

The airport expects another record to be broken this Easter with 28,000 seats planned.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said Gold Coast Airport’s passenger and flight numbers are recovering rapidly thanks to the region’s popularity.

“It is fantastic to see the numbers recovering at this rate after two difficult years for the airport and tourism sector that we support,” he said.

“After two difficult years, confidence in travel is returning and the region is benefiting in particular from the recovery of the leisure market.”

To meet demand over the Easter holidays, Qantas and Jetstar will operate at 110% domestic capacity compared to 2019, carrying around 500,000 passengers from April 14 to April 18.

In preparation, the company has lifted all of its staff and will have the majority of its domestic cabin crew pilots and airport staff working over Easter to accommodate.

Jetstar will also continue to operate dozens of flights with its largest international Boeing 787.

Travelers were encouraged to check in and select their seat online as it opened 24 hours before departure, arrive at the airport up to two hours early so they can manage queues at security checkpoints and remember to remove laptops and aerosols from bags. at the security check.

Hundreds of people began queuing at Sydney Airport before dawn on Saturday, wanting to check in for their morning flights.

Luke Mahoney, 27, arrived at the airport at 5.30am for a 7am flight to Melbourne and said the ‘crazy’ scenes were ‘like a social experiment to see who had the most patience’.

The Cronulla resident told NCA NewsWire there was no way to tell where the lines started or ended or which line was for security or baggage drop.

“There was no organization, so people didn’t know what was going on,” Mr Mahoney said.

“For the first 30 minutes we were in the queue, we didn’t see a single member of staff trying to chaperone or organize people.

“It wasn’t until (15 minutes later) that a couple of staff arrived and tried to do something, but it was like trying to throw a bucket of water on a house fire.

“It brought out the worst in humanity. People were tired and restless and everyone was getting frustrated with each other.

Mr Mahoney said he expected the airport to be more organized after experiencing similar scenes in previous days.

Angela Cook described the scenes on social media, saying the security line was “out of the gate” when she arrived at the terminal at 4.30am for a 6am flight.

“No question of me doing my flight. A line. An online security check. It’s just poor planning on (Sydney Airport’s) part,” she tweeted.

Many other travelers posted photos of where they waited, all showing massive queues and people crammed into the baggage check-in area.

“Hell is…this at 5am,” Darren Saunders wrote.

For two days, the same chaotic scenes have impacted thousands of travelers.

Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert said it was facing “a perfect storm at the moment” due to bad weather, school holidays and a high level of isolated staff being infected with the virus, be considered a close contact.

“Traffic numbers are rising, travelers are inexperienced after two years without travelling, and close contact rules are making it difficult to fill shifts and airport staff,” he said.

An airport spokesperson told NCA NewsWire that the airport is expected to see up to 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels throughout the school holiday period and peak on Easter and Sunday weekends. Anzac Day.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals moving passengers forward in order of priority,” they said.

“We are deeply grateful to the passengers for their continued patience and we are sorry for all those who have been inconvenienced.

“We would also like to thank passengers for arriving at the airport early and for treating staff and others with kindness and respect.”

NCA NewsWire understands that no reports have been made by the airlines of passengers missing flights this morning due to congestion.

Around 20% of shifts at airports have been affected by Covid-related staff shortages – many impacted operational roles require technical skills, which rules out hiring casual staff as the airport does not want to do any security compromise.

Thousands of people were stuck in long queues on Thursday evening that dragged from the security line to the check-in counter and the front door.

Chaos has now entered its third day.

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