Big crowds at Melbourne and Brisbane Airport as school holidays end

Multiple airports across Australia are set for another day of huge crowds as the school holiday chaos continues.

A rush of eager travellers have once again crowded airports as school holidays come to an end in Victoria and Queensland.

It was expected that Melbourne airport would experience its busiest day in more than two years on Friday, with 100,000 people forecast to move through its terminals.

While that number has since been revised to 90,000, long queues still formed at check-in gates and security early in the morning, and 12 flights were cancelled before 9am.

Melbourne airport chief executive Lorie Argus said it was “great” to see people travelling, though the increased demand had created issues for the aviation industry.

“Airports are busy places, so it’s not unusual to see queues and people moving through the airport during school holidays … but it is great to see those pre-Covid levels hit,” she said on Thursday.

“There’s definitely on time performance disruption in the network; that’s certainly due to staff shortages – due to the weather with the challenges up in NSW.

“Predominantly, we hope most of the carriers will be running on time for the school holidays.”

Following the early morning rush for red-eye flights, crowds started to subside across the airport.

Passengers travelling through Melbourne Airport are still being advised to arrive one to two hours before a domestic flight and two to three hours before an international flight.

Around 50,000 people are expected to move through Brisbane airport on Friday, which is just below its post-Covid high of 56,000 travellers during the Easter Holidays.

Long queues and big crowds formed across the airport’s terminals early in the morning, with wait times of about 15 minutes for security at one point and some flights cancelled.

Brisbane airport has told passengers to arrive at least 90 minutes before a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international trip.

But while school holidays are ending in Queensland and Victoria, they are only just beginning for some other states.

Adelaide airport will deal with its biggest post-pandemic crowd with about 30,000 people expected on Friday.

An early-morning rush formed from 5am, with lines snaking around the terminal. Check-in times and security queues are expected to be longer than usual.

Overall, more than 100,000 passengers are expected at Adelaide airport over the first four days of the holidays.

Travellers have been warned to arrive two hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights to help avoid delays.

Crowds are also expected at Hobart airport with school holidays beginning for Tasmania.

Qantas and Jetstar have said they are preparing to fly more than 350,000 customers across Australia over the next four days, with more staff put on standby and extra workers deployed to assist at check-in and manage queues.

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