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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Crazy scenes at Australian airports as school holiday rush begins

Eager travellers are crowding airports across the country once again as airlines prepare for their busiest period since Covid.

Qantas and Jetstar are preparing to fly around 350,000 customers over the next four days alone, with school holidays starting in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory on Friday.

Lines were already out the door at Melbourne Airport just after 6am on Friday, with the airport chaplain even getting involved with baggage to help ease the strain on staff.

The scenes at Brisbane Airport have not reached those chaotic levels, but travellers are still being told to arrive early with long lines and possible delays anticipated.

Melbourne Airport is preparing for more than 2.1 million passengers over the school holidays, which is around 400,000 more people than from over the Easter holidays.

Passengers at Tullamarine have been warned to arrive one to two hours early for a domestic flight and two to three for international travel.

Domestic travellers at Brisbane Airport have been advised to arrive 90 minutes early for domestic travel.

Melbourne Airport chief executive Lorie Argus said passengers should take precautions to avoid any stress, with international traveller numbers up by 77 per cent.

“We encourage people to allow time to get to the airport, check in and go through security, as there may be queues, particularly at peak travel times,” she said.

“Equally, we’d ask people don’t arrive too early, because some airlines don’t open check-in until two hours before a domestic departure and three hours prior to an international flight.

Crazy scenes at Australian airports as school holiday rush begins
Camera IconLong lines are expected with school holidays starting up. NCA NewsWire / John Gass Credit: News Corp Australia

“The aviation industry is still working to rebuild our workforce following the pandemic, and staffing remains an issue for some operators, particularly in baggage and ground handling.

“During this busy period, we ask people to be respectful of one another and our staff as we work to get you where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible.”

School holidays start in NSW, Western Australia and the ACT next weekend, while South Australia and Tasmania start on July 9.

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