NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge was among the crowd at the airport, saying there were huge lines for bags and security.
“Another holiday and another collapse at Sydney’s privatized airport,” he said on Twitter. “They knew in advance how many people would come because they sold tickets.”
The airport spokesman said all security lanes were open and lines were moving well. He said the airport’s customer service team was prioritizing queues in order of flight times.
“What we are telling passengers is to keep arriving as close as possible to two hours before their flight. Don’t arrive earlier or later because some airlines don’t open check-in before then,” he said.
The airport has faced severe staff shortages since widespread travel resumed across the country and is trying to recruit thousands of people for security, baggage handling, hospitality and other functions.
It is holding a job fair next week with 40 of the biggest companies operating out of the airport, in a bid to fill around 5,000 jobs by the end of July, after around 15,000 jobs were cut during the pandemic.
A spokesperson for Virgin Australia said the Queen’s birthday long weekend is becoming 20% busier than the same period in 2019.
“We have scheduled more than 1800 flights over the four days on the domestic network from Friday to Monday,” the spokesperson said.
“Despite high travel demand, we had minimal cancellations of less than 10 across the network today.”
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