Travellers have been told to ‘live without’ without their luggage if it goes missing as chaotic crowds flock to airports.
Passengers are being warned to be prepared to “live without” without their luggage if it goes missing as chaotic scenes have erupted at airports once again.
Eager travellers are crowding airports across Australia with school holidays starting in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory on Friday.
Qantas and Jetstar are preparing to fly around 350,000 customers over the next four days alone.
Lines were out the door at Melbourne Airport before 6am on Friday, with the airport chaplain even getting involved with baggage to help ease the strain on staff.
Melbourne Airport chief executive Lorie Argus confirmed they are still dealing with staff shortages.
“Of course we are still seeing some staff shortages. I think that’s a global challenge, particularly for the airlines,” she said.
“We’ve done a lot of readiness, we have more electricians and trades people on hand. During the peak periods we do put a lot of extra support into the system to make sure we can cope with those queues and that level of demand.
“What I would recommend is just make sure you have the key parts of your luggage in your carry-on bag, and that you’re prepared that if you do have a mishandled bag you can live without that luggage for a short period of time.”
More than 100,000 passengers are expected to move through the airport on Friday, while a day of 102,000 people is expected next week, which is higher than pre-Covid levels.
The airport is preparing for more than 2.1 million passengers over the school holidays, which is around 400,000 more people than the Easter holidays earlier this year.
But the lines at Tullamarine have eased since Friday morning and were still reportedly moving well during that peak period.
Passengers at Tullamarine have been warned to arrive one to two hours early for a domestic flight and two to three for international travel.
The scenes at Brisbane Airport have not reached those chaotic levels, but travellers are still being told to arrive early with long lines and possible delays anticipated.
It is expected that the airport will experience peak days of 55,000 travellers on Friday and during July, which is 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
More than 9000 of those travellers on Friday are expected to move through the airport’s International Terminal
Passengers have been advised to arrive 90 minutes early for domestic travel and three hours early for international flights.
“We are incredibly excited to see the terminals filling up and we have boosted the number of staff during peak times. We encourage people to arrive at least 90-minutes prior to domestic flight for a stress-free departure,” Brisbane Airport Corporation head of Public Affairs Stephen Beckett said.
“For international departures, we recommend arriving three hours before your flight. The International Terminal will set a new post-pandemic record on Friday with 9,000 travellers which is fantastic as 75 per cent of international visitors to Queensland arrive via Brisbane Airport.”
Ms Argus said Melbourne Airport passengers should take precautions to avoid any stress, with international traveller numbers up by 77 per cent.
“We encourage people to allow time to get to the airport, check in and go through security, as there may be queues, particularly at peak travel times,” she said.
“Equally, we’d ask people don’t arrive too early, because some airlines don’t open check-in until two hours before a domestic departure and three hours prior to an international flight.
“The aviation industry is still working to rebuild our workforce following the pandemic, and staffing remains an issue for some operators, particularly in baggage and ground handling.
“During this busy period, we ask people to be respectful of one another and our staff as we work to get you where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible.”
School holidays start in NSW, Western Australia and the ACT next weekend, while South Australia and Tasmania start on July 9.