Melbourne Airport departures queue chaos: Travellers warned over Virgin Australia, Qantas flights as school holidays kick off

Travellers have been warned to brace for more chaotic airport delays as school holidays kick off in a number of states.

It is set to be the busiest period at airports across the country since the pandemic began and there were queues building at some Melbourne Airport terminals from 6am.

At one stage, the line was out the door at the Virgin terminal.

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By 8am the queues had eased, but passengers have been advised to still allow plenty of extra time if travelling on Friday.

Mike McNess from the Transport Workers’ Union told Sunrise there is a shortage of skilled labour due to staff being sacked during the pandemic.

“We’ve now got a situation where a lot of the untrained and short-term causal labour that is coming to replace them are also now looking to leave,” he said.

“So we expect there to be a bit of chaos.”

Melbourne Airport is expecting more than 2.1 million people will pass through its terminals between June 24 and July 17.

Queues at Melbourne Airport on Friday morning. Credit: 7NEWS

Travellers heading through Sydney are also being warned ahead of an extremely busy holiday period.

Sydney is forecasting more than two million passengers between June 24 and July 17, with 1.5 million of them expected to take a domestic flight.

“Our forecast shows the July school holidays are going to be even busier than what we saw in April,” Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said.

“It’s terrific to see the ongoing demand for air travel. But we won’t sugar-coat the fact that the terminals will be busy during the school holidays, and there will be queues.”

Total passenger traffic has recovered to 69 per cent of pre-COVID levels, the airport said.

Qantas has borne the brunt of travellers’ ire on social media in recent days, with many reporting their bags missing and delayed flights.

The airline on Thursday said it was “pulling out all stops and working with airports and suppliers to ensure the upcoming holiday period is not impacted by the significant disruptions that customers faced over Easter”.

– With AAP

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