• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Sydney Airport travellers experiencing delays and long wait times

Frustrated travellers are again being forced to endure delays and crowded terminals as Sydney airport struggles with staff shortages.

Passengers have complained about waiting in lines more than 150m long to check in to their flights and queuing for hours to get through the security screening process.

A Sydney Airport spokesperson said the terminals were still busy on Tuesday, but noted travellers were breezing through security in under half an hour. It’s a huge improvement on Monday’s two hour waits and queues snaking outside the terminal doors.

On Monday, a Sydney airport spokesman said the delays were due to limited security staff available.

“Our security contractor has had significant staff sick leave today, meaning some security screening lanes were not able to be opened,” they said.

“We have customer service staff on the ground bringing passengers forward according to flight priority. We are sorry about the disruption and (we are) working hard to get everyone on their way.”

Staff shortages have plagued the travel industry as it emerges from the Covid restrictions with far fewer staff and reduced capacity.

The airport’s chief executive Geoff Culbert estimated half the airport’s 30,000 jobs were lost during the pandemic amid a push to regain staff. He said Sydney airport needed to fill 5000 roles, which would take some time.

“The reality is these shortages are going to be with us for a while longer,” he said two months ago.

Furious travellers have been vocal with their criticism about cancelled and delayed flights, missing baggage, and poor customer service.

Sydney airport was recently named one of the world’s worst airports for flight cancellations and delays by flight tracking platform FlightAware. Data showed nearly 6 per cent of flights were cancelled at Sydney airport and more than 34 per cent were affected by delays.

Travel experts have predicted the disruptions should abate by the end of the year for domestic travellers, while international travellers will have to bear the pain for longer.

The renewed fury over airport delays comes just days after Qantas and Jetstar engineers voted in favour of taking industrial action over their pay conditions.

The 700 engineers are expected to participate in a one-minute stoppage sometime this month to protest stagnant wages. The union has warned further action could follow that could mean further disruption for travellers.

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