Australia’s airports will be in chaos for WEEKS more as thousands of families fly out for the school holidays
- Travellers warned of packed airports and long queues as school holidays loom
- Sydney Airport expects an increase up to 2.1 million visitors in June 27 to July 17
- A heady rise in light of 1.8 million that passed through causing havoc last April
- Sydney Airport boss Geoff Culbert said it will hire more staff to deal with queues
Airports will stay swamped for weeks as holidaymakers swarm check-in counters and waiting areas during the upcoming school break.
Transport hubs expect lengthy queues and congested common waiting areas, leading to hours of waiting to get on to flights.
Sydney Airport forecasted 2.1 million passengers would pass through its gates during the June 27 to July 17 school holidays.
That figure is up from the 1.8 million visitors in the previous April busy period, where airports were at a standstill across the country – putting the squeeze on busy staff.
Last kids’ holiday season Sydney Airport (pictured is a bag drop queue) brought 1.8 million through, and expects more for the up-and-coming June-July season
Majority of travellers flying domestically will be 1.5 million in the coming holiday period, with additional international numbers of 560,000 scheduled to use the facility
Most travellers flying domestically will be 1.5 million, with additional international numbers of 560,000 expected to use the facility.
Those domestic and international numbers are up from last April holidays, which were 1.39 million and 376,000 respectively.
Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert told 9 News it was great to see ongoing demand for air travel, but delays would occur.
‘We won’t sugar coat the fact that the terminals will be busy during the school holidays, and there will be queues,’ he said.
‘We are doing everything we can to get people on their way, including bringing an additional 60 customer service staff into the terminals every day to help manage queues and bring passengers forward in order of flight priority.’
Punters going on holiday are advised to turn up close to the recommended timeframe, two hours for domestic and three hours for international travellers
Transport Workers Union National Secretary Michael Kaine blamed the delays staff shortages after so many were laid off during the pandemic.
‘Flights are full, but passengers are stuck waiting because there aren’t enough workers to load their bags into the hold – [and] almost half of outsourced workers are still searching for a permanent job,’ he said.
Qantas said the waiting issue was not confined to one airline or airport, and the extended waiting time was caused by ‘Covid absenteeism and a competitive labour market’.
Travellers were advised to get to the airport wee before the recommended check-in times for domestic and international flights, unless advised otherwise.
Those flying domestic should instead show up close to two hours before a flight and three hours for international travellers.
Passengers were also cautioned to not arrive too early for check-in as some carriers don’t open until two hours before flight time.
Passengers are also advised to not arrive too early for check in as some carriers don’t open up until two hours prior to flight time