Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Airport apologises for further security delays

By Mark Edwards

Belfast International Airport has once again apologised to passengers for delays at security, citing "unprecedented passenger numbers".

Passengers have complained about being forced to wait for up to two hours to get through security at the airport in recent months, with some travellers nearly missing their flights as a result.

Passengers, speaking on the BBC Nolan Show on Friday, spoke of severe delays at security on Thursday.

Have you been affected by delays at Belfast International Airport? Email to tell us your story.

One caller called Gary, who was travelling back to Liverpool on Thursday, said: "I was visiting family and friends back home, because I live over in England, and we were getting the first flight out of Belfast yesterday.

"We got there about 6.30am and we were greeted with big, big queues at security at the bottom of the escalator at the stairs, that is where it started."

He said it took him an hour and a half to get through security and just about made his flight.

Asked how he felt about the situation, he said: "Frustrated, angry. [It is] not just myself, but other people pay a lot of money to go through and travel to different places.

"They offer a service, the airport, and to be honest the service is not up to standard.

"Lots of people, luckily not ourselves, may miss their flights. It is frustration and nervousness that you might miss your flight as well."

Gary said that no members of staff at the airport approached passengers to inform them of what was happening.

He added: "You have to question whether they have the capacity, and whether they will have the capacity in the future in order to ensure that there is that smooth transition.

"I have got friends who do business in Northern Ireland from England and in recent months they have found it a real hassle to get across."

Belfast International Airport

A spokesperson for Belfast International Airport said it has experienced difficulties over recent months as it worked to accommodate "unprecedented passenger numbers".

The spokesman said: "Thursday morning was particularly challenging as our security provider, ICTS, experienced staffing issues which meant that not all lanes were available.

"We apologise to passengers who experienced delays, and would assure them that we are taking steps to address the issue.

"We have drafted in additional qualified staff from outside Northern Ireland who are working alongside every available member of airport staff to minimise delays.

"Belfast International Airport is addressing individual passenger complaints involving, in certain cases, claims for compensation.

"We would continue to appeal to passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure times, and to pay particular attention to well-publicised advice on the items they can and cannot bring through Central Search."

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