Significant delays at Sydney airport blamed on understaffing and ‘inexperienced’ travelers
The Sydney Airport boss says ‘inexperienced’ travelers contributed to a ‘perfect storm’ causing major delays at Mascot.
People have reported queuing for hours to pass through security for the past two days.
Images from the airport showed meandering lines stretching through and out of the terminals.
Some planes had to be held up to allow passengers to make their flights as people flocked to travel during the Easter school holidays.
On Friday morning, crowds grew so large at Terminal 2 that the distinction between lines was unclear, confusing travelers.
The police began directing people to the most appropriate line as people struggled to find out where they should go.
Geoff Culbert, managing director of Sydney Airport, issued an apology to passengers, saying COVID-19 was the root of the problem.
“We’re facing a perfect storm right now,” he said.
“Traffic numbers are rising, travelers are inexperienced after two years of not travelling, and close contact rules are making it difficult to fill shifts and airport staff.
“We encourage everyone to get to the airport early and thank everyone for being patient as the industry gets back on its feet.”
Passenger George Wong said he arrived to find “crazy” lines and was worried he might miss his flight.
“It’s really confusing and we don’t know what to do,” he said.
“We haven’t seen this in ages, especially on a domestic flight. We didn’t know we had to come so soon.”
A frustrated Adam Cosgrave said staff gave him mixed instructions on where he should go for his flight to the Gold Coast.
“It’s absolute chaos,” he said.
“I’ve been waiting here for about 3 hours and it’s just not good enough.”
Des Kane said he had been queuing for over an hour to clear immigration before boarding a flight to London.
He said staff were helpful and led people past queues if they were in danger of missing flights.
“Flights are on hold and the queue has started moving now,” he said.
“I’ve been in the queue for an hour and probably will be for another 30 minutes, but it’s moving now.”