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Manchester Airport Boss Quits Following Chaotic Scenes At Security And Long Queues For Passengers

Manchester Airport Boss Quits Following Chaotic Scenes At Security And Long Queues For Passengers

Manchester Airport has been hit with massive queues at security checks

Managing director of Manchester Airport Karen Smart has resigned following weeks of travel chaos at the transport hub.

Prior to Smart's decision to leave the role, who has been in charge since August 2020, Councillor Pat Karney said a 'failure of management' was to blame for the long queues at security.

Piles of suitcases have reportedly been left in terminals as holiday-goers opted to leave their baggage at the airport and instead, left for home.

Manchester Airport has blamed staff shortages for the delays, but Karney said management had 'totally underestimated the recovery time of the airport'.

"Two million people went through the airport in February [and] in the previous year, it was 70,000, so you had to plan ahead," he said.

"They should have seen all this.

"They should have known the recovery was going to be very quick."

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had previously suggested that police might be called in to assist the short-staffed team.

“I have been in touch with colleagues at Greater Manchester Police at the weekend to see what we can do to support the airport,” he said.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson told LADbible: "Manchester Airport apologises to passengers whose experiences this weekend have fallen below the standard we aim to provide.

"We want to assure customers and colleagues that their safety and security will always be our first priority.

"Our whole industry is facing staff shortages and recruitment challenges at present, after the most damaging two years in its history.

"The removal of all travel restrictions after two years, coupled with the start of the summer travel season, has seen a rapid increase in passenger numbers, which is putting an enormous strain on our operation."

They continued: "We are doing all we can to recruit the staff we need to meet this demand, but this is taking time due to the lengthy vetting and training processes involved.

"That is why we have been advising travellers that there may be, at times, longer queues than normal.

"Whenever this is the case, we do all we can to redeploy resources and prioritise passengers within queues as best we can. 

"We are also aware that partners working on our site, such as baggage handling agents, are facing similar challenges.

"We will continue to support them in any way we can to deliver the best possible experience for customers during this challenging time."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News