Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Chaos at Australian airports as travellers brace for busiest day of year

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Long wait times and possible flight delays are anticipated across the nation on Friday, as airports brace for the highest number of travellers this year.

With tens of thousands of people attempting to return home or visit family before the weekend, travellers have been urged to carefully plan their trips to avoid being affected by the delays.

Brisbane airport head of public affairs Stephen Beckett said a post-Covid record of 14,300 people would travel through the airport’s international terminal on Friday.

“It’s hard to remember this time last year if you were travelling internationally you would have had to have done a seven-day quarantine period,” he told Channel 7’s Sunrise program.

“We had a cap of 1000 people a week who were allowed into Queensland.”

Mr Beckett said the domestic terminals were dealing with “lots of movement”, but queues were moving relatively quickly.

A few people had been “caught short” and might have missed their flights, he said.

“If you’re travelling today we do recommend that you arrive 90 minutes before a domestic flight and pre-book your Ubers and taxis,” Mr Beckett said.

“We are hearing from a few people in the terminal this morning they got caught short with wait times.

“Make sure you’re aware of what and can’t go in your hand luggage and remember just pack your patience.”

An airport security strike planned for Monday had been averted, which was “great news for families”, Mr Beckett said.

The security officers had planned to strike at Canberra and Gold Coast airports as well as Brisbane due to stalling wage negotiations between security company ISS and its employees.

“We are absolutely thankful that ISS security and the United Workers Union reached a fair and equitable agreement, which means no interruption to our services on Monday,” Mr Beckett said.

“That is great news for families reconnecting with family and friends but also terrific news for our tourism and hospitality industry.”

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