Call to fix Edinburgh Airport security shambles

Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Scott TaylorEdinburgh Airport. Picture: Scott Taylor
Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Scott Taylor
Bosses at Edinburgh Airport are under pressure to sort out problems with their £25 million new security hall after passengers were again hit with long queues, leading to missed flights.

People complained of “a complete shambles”, the “worst check-in experience ever” and warned the Capital’s reputation was at risk.

Passengers reported “fast track” queues stretching back into the food hall and told of being stuck in a security queue for over an hour. Several said they had missed flights as a result of the delays.

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The airport apologised after the chaos developed during Monday morning’s rush hour. A spokesman blamed an IT issue and said staff were working hard to resolve the problem.

But Lothian Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said with the busy summer holiday period just weeks away – the traditional Edinburgh trades holidays start on July 4 – it was vital the airport was functioning properly.

She said: “When people are missing flights, never mind waiting for hours, it’s a sign that the process needs to be sorted urgently.

“As we move towards the summer holidays we need to know that the airport is pulling out all the stops to get the problem of lengthy waits fixed.

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“It makes what should be an exciting time for holidaymakers very stressful.”

The new security hall opened towards the end of last year as part of a larger expansion of the airport.

But in November, Rebus author Ian Rankin branded the airport “embarrassing” after he was caught in a lengthy queue as he waited to board a 7.30am flight.

In April this year, angry passengers spoke of an “absolute shambles” when they were confronted by queues of up to an hour as they tried to catch early morning planes.

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And earlier this month the airport was under fire again over long queues, just as it announced its best-ever figures for May with over a million passengers using the airport, a ten per cent increase from the same month last year.

Yesterday’s delays saw passengers complaining via social media of long queues, missed flights and concern about it reflecting badly on Edinburgh.

Mark Baird tweeted: “Frequent travellers have been warning @EDI_Airport and predicting this for months now. City’s reputation is at risk.”

Roger Edwards said: “Actively avoid @EDI_Airport now – total joke.”

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And another passenger said: “Worst check-in experience ever. Never known so many stressed-out, angry folk. Full hour from baggage drop to departure gate. You are a disgrace Edinburgh Airport to our capital city.”

An airport spokesman said the previous problems over handling large numbers of passengers in the new security hall had been sorted by recruiting extra staff, but the latest delays had been caused by an IT issue.

“The team is looking at it at the moment,” he said. “Since Christmas we have brought in people to ensure we are able to fully maintain security.

“We have invested in this new security system, but it has taken us longer to get the speed in it. We were fully manned, all six lanes were open. This is an IT problem.”

He said Monday morning was an exceptionally busy time and the next similar peak would come on Thursday afternoon, adding: “I’m confident it will all be fixed by then.”