Manchester Airport passengers have reported chaos in recent weeks and months, with travellers speaking of snaking queues, delays and even cancellations.
Pictures shared by frustrated passengers on social media on Friday showed long queues of people waiting to get through security. This follows on from weeks of chaos at Manchester Airport, with scenes of long waits at check-in desks and security, abandoned baggage left in check-in halls and holiday cancellations and delays.
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said queues in Terminal 1 and 2 reached up to an hour during peak times on Friday morning. Wait times in Terminal 3 were under an hour, they said. Queues through security have since gone back down to between 15 and 30 minutes, they added.
Widespread disruption has impacted the travel industry, with scenes of long waits at check-in desks and security, abandoned baggage left in check-in halls and holiday cancellations and delays commonplace at a number of UK airports.
Thankfully, one local holiday expert is at hand to offer tips and tricks to make departing for your holiday as seamless as possible. Nichola Court, from Halewood, is an independent travel advisor at Escape Savvy.
She has provided her key tips and things to look out for while navigating the current issues affecting the travel industry.
- Ensure your holiday is ABTA and ATOL protected.
- Read the reviews, both on TripAdvisor for the hotel and Trust Pilot for the company you book with.
- Get travel insurance! This is so important. I’d strongly advise against travelling without insurance, especially with the aftermath of covid and the current unrest in the climate around cancellations and delays. Don’t always go for the cheapest, make sure you carefully read the cancellation terms so you can make sure you’re covered if your holiday is affected.
- Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you book the holiday. The closer you leave it to your holiday, the more risk you can have of it affecting the terms of the insurance. It must be booked before any event occurs.
- If you’re going for a shorter break, avoid adding hold luggage. If you do have hold luggage, try and spread your clothing and items across suitcases. That way, if one goes missing, everyone travelling has access to some of their belongings. Keep important items like medication in hand luggage where possible.
- At the airport, make sure you’re organised. Have all of your travel documents to hand and your liquids in clear bags.
- If you’re delayed, make sure you know your rights. During the delay, you have a statutory right to food and a hotel depending on the length of the delay.
- If you are affected by a cancellation, make sure you ask why. Was it caused by the airline? Or the airport? This will make a difference on how you go about claiming your compensation and refunds.
Nichola added: “We’ve all been in situations abroad, whether it be issues with your accommodation, flights, illness etc, that have proven how difficult it can be to manage communications and track down the right source of information and support.
“Lots of online booking sites are not ABTA or ATOL protected as you might expect, and some that were lost their ABTA licence during the pandemic. Unfortunately, lots of us don’t quite realise the importance of the ABTA and ATOL protection.
“Should the worst happen on holiday, these will cover you for the unexpected and ensure that you receive the physical and financial support that is so important. The current situation is another reason to ensure that you fully research the holiday you want to book.
She continued: “It’s difficult to advise people on what to expect at the airport as many of my clients have had different experiences. Some go through the departure process as you would pre-pandemic, and others are facing such long delays and cancellations. The airlines and airports are becoming better at communicating affected flights and expected waiting times in airports so it’s definitely important to keep a close eye on the airport and airlines websites.”
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