Leeds Bradford Airport: Nearly 400 travellers miss flights due to delays

Image caption,
Queues of passengers have stretched from inside the terminal building all the way to the outside

Around 390 passengers have missed flights over the last three months due to check-in delays at Leeds Bradford Airport, its chief executive has said.

Vincent Hodder said the problem had been made worse by people turning up too early for flights, "causing a blow-out of queues".

Passengers have described "total chaos", with waits of several hours.

Mr Hodder asked people to come to Leeds Bradford "no earlier than three hours" before their scheduled departure time.

The airport boss said the underlying problem was "shortage of staff".

Mr Hodder added that some passengers had responded to the airport's call for customers to get to the airport in plenty of time before their flights by arriving much too early.

"Some are interpreting that as the earlier you get there, the more chance you have of being able get to your flight. Actually that's not the case," he said.

"People who are on flights departing at 06:00 or 07:00 are standing behind people who are waiting for a flight departing at 08:00 or 09:00."

Image caption,
Airport chief executive Vincent Hodder says he hopes things will be back to normal by the end of June

At times, lines of travellers have stretched outside the terminal building at Yeadon as security personnel have worked to get people processed.

Some holidaymakers said they had been standing for more than three hours, with people feeling faint or reduced to tears as their flight times approached.

The airport made 179 staff redundant during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Hodder said: "The airport had to downsize significantly. When it came to recruit those staff back into the operation, it has been a slow and difficult process during the recruiting."

The airport had taken on 48 security staff who were currently undergoing checks, Mr Hodder said.

He added that he hoped things would be back to normal at Leeds Bradford by the end of June.

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