UK Airports: New Scanners Cause Chaos For Passengers

An air traveller stands at an airport terminal
Photo Credit: Strategy Plus

As UK airports face significant delays due to the implementation of new security scanners and staff shortages, passengers are advised to prepare for long queues at security this summer.

What rights do passengers have if they miss a flight due to security queues?

Here’s some essential guidance from travel expert Steve Reid of Air Travel Claim to help you navigate these challenges and understand your passenger rights.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Missed Flights

UK airports are experiencing significant delays due to new security scanners and staff shortages. This means that long queues are a real possibility this summer, potentially leading to missed flights.

Most UK airports recommend arriving at least 2.5 hours before your flight’s departure. Some airlines might even advise arriving earlier.

Double-check with your airline for their specific recommendations. Remember, keeping receipts or parking tickets as proof of timely arrival can be crucial if you need to claim compensation for a missed flight.

A Teesside Airport security check-in area.
Photo Credit: Teesside Airport

Conquering Security Checks

New security screening technology has caused some confusion regarding hand luggage allowances. Here’s a reminder: stick to the 100ml rule for liquids, pastes, and gels in your carry-on. Pack larger items in your checked baggage.

Security Check Pro-Tips:

  • Have your travel documents readily available.
  • Pack within your airline’s cabin baggage allowance.
  • Keep liquids and gels in your hand luggage unless instructed otherwise.
  • Leave electronics in your carry-on unless directed differently.
  • For a smoother process, empty your pockets of phones, keys, and coins. Remove belts, jackets, coats, jewelry, and wearable tech.
  • Be prepared to take off your shoes if requested.
  • Inform security officers about any metal limbs or implants. A doctor’s note is helpful.
The new security equipment at Frankfurt Airport.
Photo Credit: Fraport AG

Missed Flights and Compensation

Unfortunately, missing a flight due to security queues typically doesn’t qualify for compensation from either the airport or the airline.

Airports don’t have policies for such situations, and legal claims might involve court action and high costs.

Airline Check-in Delays

However, long queues at airline check-in desks and bag drops fall under the airline’s responsibility. Some airlines offer a night-before bag drop service to minimize stress on departure day.

If you arrive on time as advised but miss your flight due to check-in delays, the Consumer Rights Act might offer grounds for a claim, although court action could be necessary.

Travel Insurance

Not all travel insurance policies cover missed flights due to security and related airport delays. Most focus on extraordinary circumstances like severe weather or illness.

Carefully review your policy’s terms to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Armin Forster via Pixabay

Facing a Tight Departure?

If queues threaten your flight, seek immediate help from airport staff. Many airports prioritize passengers nearing departure times.

Despite arriving on time, if long queues caused you to miss your flight, contact your airline promptly. Some airlines might rebook you for free on the next available flight, while others might charge a fee.

Additionally, you can reclaim Air Passenger Duty (APD) from HMRC for missed flights by contacting your airline (an administration fee might apply).

Photo Credit: Strategy Plus

About Air Travel Claim

For nearly two decades, Air Travel Claim has empowered millions to reclaim what’s rightfully theirs.

Their expertise and skill in handling claims ensure a positive outcome for their customers. Air Travel Claim champions passenger rights, taking on organizations that hinder people from receiving rightful compensation.

Remember, with a little preparation and knowledge of your rights, you can navigate airport queues with confidence!


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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