Chaos at Stansted Airport as passengers face 'horrid' queues and people sleep in terminal

19 June 2022, 15:32 | Updated: 20 June 2022, 14:17

Queues at Stansted security.
Queues at Stansted security. Picture: David Lammy

By Sophie Barnett

Chaos unfolded at Stansted Airport on Sunday after "horrid" queues built up in security and passengers slept in the terminal.

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Unhappy passengers took to Twitter to complain about long delays at the Essex airport following staff shortages and cancelled trains.

People reported huge queues at security as well as long delays at the airport's shuttle bus services - with lines of people snaking through car parks.

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy was caught up in the carnage on Sunday morning.

He tweeted: "Another morning, another horrid queue at airport security!

"This time at Stanstead [sic]. Well done Boris Johnson. Top marks Priti Patel. Welcome to #BacklogBritain."

As well as queues to get through security and check-in, multiple passengers complained of delays overnight and this morning.

Read more: Luggage chaos at Heathrow as passengers told they may not get bags back for 2 days

Read more: Airport chaos: Which airlines are cancelling flights and why?

One passenger said there were "bodies scattered all over the floor" and there were apparently "no-rules" at the site in the early hours.

Stansted told LBC a cancelled Stansted Express train to the airport increased the amount of people arriving at the site in a smaller period.

Staff shortages have also had an affect on the delays, with less security lanes open.

A spokesman for Stansted said: "Today we are expecting 38,000 passengers departing the Airport, and this morning we processed over 9000 departing passengers between 0400 and 0700 hrs with an average queue time of 12 minutes.

"The operation was affected this morning by the cancellation of the first Stansted Express inbound train to the Airport, increasing the volumes of passengers arriving in a smaller period. This was compounded by a higher absence level than normal which would have reduced the number of security lanes available at that peak time.

"The Airport is currently operating normally and no operational issues at present."

The chaos at Stansted comes after Gatwick cancelled thousands of flights due to take off this summer amid crippling staff shortages.

There has been travel chaos for people desperate to get abroad in recent weeks, with easyjet and TUI cancelling a number of flights.

Gatwick Airport chiefs said they will limit the number of flights to 825 in July and 850 in August. This compares to a reported 900 daily flights during the same time period in previous years.

This means 4,000 flights will be axed until September.