Sydney Airport has apologized for this morning’s extreme security delay, with heavy fog and a technical issue blamed.
Video footage shared to Twitter by Sky News’s political editor Andrew Clennell shows lines spilling out of the domestic terminal door, on to the street and as far as the car park as thousands of passengers wait to pass security and board their flight.
“And it goes on and on before you get in [the] terminal,” Clennell said.
He shared another update explaining airport staff were hand-picking those whose flights are before a certain time.
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“They just came out for people on ‘flights boarding before 7.20’. At 7.33,” he said.
“Because my flight boards at 8.25, I get to walk past this queue into another queue,” he said while sharing footage of another very long line.
Passengers have described the wait time as “ridiculous” with one woman saying it took her over an hour to pass security only to learn her flight was also delayed.
Clennell added his flight was also “unsurprisingly” delayed for an hour.
A Sydney Airport spokesperson told news.com.au it is working with airlines “to get everyone on their way”.
“Heavy fog affected earlier flights this morning, and a technical issue has meant we’re temporarily operating one less security lane than normal in T2 Domestic,” the spokesperson said.
Holiday-makers have been experiencing crazy wait times and flight delays over the past few months as airports and airlines around the world try to combat staffing shortages.
In June, Sydney Airport hosted a jobs fair to help plug the worker shortage.
“We are doing everything we can to get people on their way,” chief executive Geoff Culbert said at the time.
It comes after Queenstown Airport also erupted into chaos with travelers stranded over the weekend.
Queues ran out the door of the airport as Air New Zealand struggled to clear a backlog of flights, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Some travelers said they had been trying to get home for days, and struggled to find accommodation because the resort town was at capacity.
Air New Zealand has been battling a “perfect storm” of high demand during school holidays, staff sickness because of Covid-19, and weather-related disruptions.
Up to 130 flights were canceled on Thursday and Friday because of stormy conditions.
The airline warned at the beginning of the July school holidays that higher-than-usual employee sickness and bad weather could cause delays.
Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said the airline was putting on larger aircraft and adding more flights to help get customers to where they need to be as school holidays drew to a close after a week of disruption and delays.
The airline had been forced to cancel about 20 of its 470-odd flights on Sunday – one of its busiest days of the school holidays.