Live – anger at Birmingham Airport as tired, angry passengers wait in plane on runway

Another day – another day of anger, frustration, queues and also happy passengers who breezed through at Birmingham Airport. The hub sees tens of thousands of people pass through every day and has been beset with complaints this summer due to staff shortages.

There have been positive reports of queues moving quickly over the weekend. But more angst is being voiced, too.

Passengers have fumed on social media about being forced to wait for long periods of time on the tarmac. One, Claire Burns-Jackson, said on Twitter in the early hours of today: “So after arriving on our delayed Kos flight, we’re now sitting on the tarmac and will be for 60 minutes because you haven’t any busses at 4am! Don’t blame the lack of staff – that’s just bad management. Sort yourselves out.”

Tracey Pound had faced a similar experience. She replied to that message to voice her own disappointment.

“We’re the same,” she said. “Delayed flight from Turkey and sitting on the plane waiting for the 1 and ONLY operating bus to finish unloading 2 planes before ours. What a joke @bhx_official total lack of management. And the CEO deserves a pay rise on what grounds?”

Nick Barton, the chief executive of Birmingham Airport, has had a 49 per cent pay rise. His annual wage increased from £399,000 to £595,000 last year.

Ms Burns-Jackson was not impressed. She said on Twitter: “They don’t care about us, no respect or regards for their customers. They know they can get away with this poor service as people want to holiday and whilst they get away with it it will keep happening. They think it’s acceptable to treat their customers like this. Shame on them.”

The airport has not replied to the criticisms.

Some passengers were fast-tracked this weekend so they did not end up missing their flights, one punter told us today. New images have shown lots of people waiting in queues, but there are signs that, for some at least, the experience was a swift and pleasant one.

One passenger, who was flying from the Solihull hub to Ireland with Ryanair at 7.05am on Saturday, said: “Well-organised and moving quickly. If your flight was before a certain time they were calling you out of the queue to fast track you.

“I was a case in point. Fast tracked after queuing for 15 minutes and took me just under half an hour to clear security.”

As with airports across the country, BHX has been struggling with the return to normality of travel following the pandemic, during which hundreds of members of staff were made redundant. To help alleviate the problem, a new cohort of security officers will start work early next month.

An airport spokesperson said: “We have now hired the additional security officers we need. Once trained and vetted, they are being deployed.”

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