Manchester Airport is gearing up for its busiest weekend of the year – with more than 450,000 people set to pass through the UK’s third largest airport.
Tomorrow (Friday 24th August) will see the hub welcome most passengers, with 110,000 due to depart from or arrive at Manchester’s three terminals.
Top destinations for the weekend include Palma, Dubai and Alicante.
Ahead of the busy few days, the airport is advising customers how to make their journey as smooth as possible, and reminding those jetting away about the consequences of disruptive behaviour.
Fiona Wright, customer services and security director at Manchester Airport, said: “As we enter our busiest weekend of the summer we want to ensure each and every one of our passengers has the best experience and start to their trip, while ensuring their safety and security.
“By working together with our passengers and other organisations operating at the airport, we have been able to reduce security waiting times as much as possible, especially over the past six weeks when nearly 70% of all those passing through have not had to queue at all.”
Passengers can play their part by:
- having all liquids, gels and pastes (no bigger than 100ml each) in a clear plastic bag
- In addition, coats and belts should be removed and large electrical items taken out of hand luggage ready for the security trays
If a tray requires further inspection one of the security team will then search it.
During the summer months, on average, around 12,000 bags a day get rejected and sent for additional searches.
This is often because passengers have failed remove liquids from their bags. This can add an additional five minutes onto individual journey times through security.
Manchester Airport’s number one priority is safety and security and, as a result, has to comply with a number of security regulations, regardless of how many passengers it handles on any given day.
Throughout the summer, it has introduced a number of measures to process passengers through security as quickly as possible, including the creation of more than 200 extra security officer jobs.
This meant in July (including several days in which it handled more than 100,000 passengers) more than 94% of all people passed through security in 15 minutes or less.
Also in July, almost 70% of passengers didn’t queue at all – with the average queue time being 4 minutes 29 seconds.
So far in August, around 97% of passengers have passed through security in 15 minutes or less.
67% of passengers haven’t queued for security – and those that have, on average, have waited for 3 minutes 56 seconds.
The airport wants to work with passengers to ensure these standards are maintained this weekend.
Passengers with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities
Any passengers with reduced mobility needing assistance are advised to book this in advance with their airline to avoid any delays to their journey through the airport.
This can be for all levels of reduced mobility and for passengers with a range of issues. All the information and contacts can be found here.
Manchester Airport also offers help for passengers with hidden disabilities to ensure they have a smooth transition through the airport.
Passengers can pick up a sunflower lanyard from the OCS desk in each terminal. Once worn staff are specially trained to give the right care and service to these passengers.
Manchester Airport has a zero tolerance attitude towards disruptive behaviour on its campus, whether that is fuelled by alcohol or otherwise.
It is working with Greater Manchester Police and its airline, ground handling and retail partners to ensure the experience of the vast majority of passengers is not spoiled by a minority.
During the bank holiday weekend, police and airport officers are increasing patrols of the terminals to look out for passengers with the potential to behave disruptively, with GMP issuing ‘yellow card’ warnings to those in danger of crossing the line.
Information will be shared between all organisations to prevent anyone behaving in an anti-social way from boarding their flight, with the consequences for crossing the line ranging from airline bans to prosecution.
Those buying alcohol in duty free are being reminded they are not allowed to consume it before their end destination, while the airport is also part of a high-profile industry-wide campaign to remind people to know their limits.
The One Too Many Campaign was launched in July to remind passengers to be careful about alcohol consumption prior to their flight.
It highlights to passengers the costs of drinking to excess when travelling by air.
These include the risks of being denied boarding, having a plane diverted and the associated costs which include heavy fines, up to two years’ prison, an airline ban and a diversion fee up to £80,000 for the most serious in-flight incidents.
Plan your journey
In recent weeks, there have been a higher than usual number of delays and cancellations to rail services connecting to Manchester Airport and current information indicates this is also likely to be the case this weekend.
Updates will be provided throughout the weekend, however, in the meantime passengers should keep a close eye on timetables and plan journeys accordingly.
For those travelling by car, please check with Highways England for any road delays.
New forecourt management system
The airport also introduced a controversial new forecourt management system in July.
There is now a dedicated area for passengers being dropped off for free at Manchester Airport, from where a complimentary shuttle bus are provided to each of its terminals.
Details can be found here.
Airport bosses say the new measures have reduced congestion on the terminal forecourts and surrounding road network significantly.
For those wanting the convenience of an express drop off in these areas, a fee is now payable. This is set at £3 for five minutes, and £4 for 10 minutes.
Due to the reduced congestion, the overwhelming majority of drop-offs take fewer than five minutes. Blue badge holders can still drop off on the forecourts free of charge.
There has been no change to arrangements for those picking passengers up.
Those picking up are urged to use bays, rather than stopping in running lanes, which leads to congestion inside the car parks. Tokens should be validated at pay stations, as opposed to payment being taken at exit barriers.