By Laura Webster, thenational.scot
HOLIDAYMAKERS travelling from Scotland’s biggest airport have been warned of lengthy queues amid surging demand for get-aways this week.
As many people head abroad for the first time since the pandemic, airports across the UK have seen significant delays to check-in and baggage reclaim areas.
Over the weekend passengers were stranded at Gatwick following a string of cancellations from airlines, while Vueling passengers complained that they’d been unable to board their flight due to overbooking.
Passengers at Gatwick, Bristol and Manchester airports all reported lengthy waits for check-in, security and boarding.
— Chris Price (@chrisjprice67) May 30, 2022
Amanda Ferguson, a broadcaster from Belfast, said the scenes in Gatwick had been “crazy” – and she ended up travelling back to Northern Ireland via Glasgow.
Now Edinburgh Airport has issued a warning to passengers amid reports of “disarray” for travellers.
One holidaymaker told the Scottish Sun that they had travelled from Edinburgh for decades but had never witnessed scenes like it – alleging “hundreds of people” were queuing outside to get to security.
It is thought that two security scanners were out of use, contributing to the surge in demand.
On Twitter, Edinburgh Airport warned: “We’re experiencing longer than normal queues for security at the moment and that’s resulting in longer wait times.
“Security staff are working incredibly hard to safely screen passengers, and we thank everyone for their patience.”
The airport urged travellers to ensure they’re ready for security to ease the pressure, adding: “We can’t emphasise enough the importance of it.”
Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday morning, shadow financial secretary to the Treasury James Murray argued that the UK Government “hasn’t prepared” for the rise in demand for travel.
The Labour MP said: “We’ve been warning for months throughout the Covid pandemic that you can’t just let the airline industry and airports fall over, let them shed all of their staff, and then expect to get back on track when demand comes back after the pandemic.
“We were warning about this, trade unions were warning about this, employee representatives were saying throughout the Covid pandemic ‘You need a sector-specific package to support the aviation sector’, and now we’re seeing what’s happened because the Government hasn’t prepared for what would obviously come next.”
He added: “The Government was not working with the airlines to get that sector-specific package in place during the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Airline Management Group said it is no surprise that travel demand increased around the Jubilee bank holiday.
Peter Davies told LBC: “Well, in the airline industry we often refer to Swiss cheese, and whether the holes line up, and often there are many holes to line up.
“On this occasion there’s only two or three.
“It’s down to mismanagement, in my opinion, between the airlines and the airports.
“I think it’s natural for people to go away on holiday. It’s not a surprise that hotter weeks tend to be particularly busy – particularly in Jubilee week – and the fact we’ve been cooped up for a couple of years.
“So there was no surprise there that people would flock back and fly. Indeed, the bookings have been increasing for many months now. So it comes as no surprise.”