G’day Sydney! The sun is shining, the air is crisp and domestic security queues in Sydney Airport are so long they’ve stretched outside and alongside traffic. I hope everyone has a jacket and gloves on in this frigid weather.
Airports have been absolute chaos for weeks now as airlines struggle to keep up with growing traveller confidence. Pair the recovering sector with this new wave of COVID cases resulting in staff shortages and it’s a perfect cocktail of delays and disruptions.
One traveller who didn’t want to be named told PEDESTRIAN.TV the domestic security queue at Sydney airport on Monday stretched outside along traffic and “all the way back to the Qantas terminal”.
Others on Twitter have also shared pictures of “monster” lines that have “gone out the door” with wait times of “over an hour”.
Sorry for the wait. We’re working to get everyone on their way as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience.— Sydney Airport (@SydneyAirport) July 17, 2022
Sydney Airport domestic security queue was a monster. Over 1 hour and then expedited to a bypass queue for priority screening. Friendly people and over 5000 job openings. Frustrated but through security. Anyone know the Travel minister? pic.twitter.com/oIuBIvzlPK— BBD (@bbdad44) July 17, 2022
Line for security screen at Sydney Airport has gone out the door, absolutely wild. pic.twitter.com/KPkIDWM3Ss— Peter Du (@ChoboCrucius) July 17, 2022
One punter revealed they waited 15 minutes outside Sydney airport, only to realise what looks to be hundreds of people were still ahead of them and not yet through the doors.
after waiting 15 mins to get to the front of the line outside Sydney airport I reach the front to see this pic.twitter.com/D4HQfnqpLH— rupert (@ruperrrttt) July 17, 2022
Despite the chaos, travellers have praised airport staff for doing the best they can with a bad situation.
“They actually managed it pretty good,” the anonymous passenger told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“They would call people by boarding times and then fast track you.”
The passenger then said their flight was cancelled after three hours of delays, so even though airport staff have been praised for remaining “calm and professional”, things are still pretty fucked.
Gotta say hats off to @SydneyAirport staff with huge queues. Calm and professional— sydney_girl 🇦🇺 (@instagelessaus) July 18, 2022
I feel for service staff on the front line in these situations. Lots of unfortunate stress…— Stuart Cranney (@StuartCranney) July 18, 2022
Sydney Airport held a job fair last week to recruit 5000 new workers after revealing COVID-19 caused huge staff shortages.
“15,000 jobs were lost during COVID-19 when we shut down for two years and we’ve recruited about half of those back but we’re in the tightest labour market we’ve seen since the 1970s,” CEO Geoff Culbert said, per 9 News.
Qantas Domestic and International chief executive Andrew David admitted airlines are just not up to their usual standards because so many staff [members] are sick with COVID or the flu.
“The truth is that the difficulties we are facing now are because of COVID and flu related sickness, as well as an extremely tight labour market,” he said in a statement.
“It’s a difficult truth that airlines, airports, air traffic control agencies and almost every business in Australia and around the world is experiencing.
“We are working hard to proactively manage this challenge.”
He warned that there’ll be more “bumps along the way” so if you’re planning to travel soon, expect chaos.
Customers have been warned to arrive two hours before flying domestic and three hours before flying overseas. But honestly, maybe make that four.