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Tens of thousands of people are expected to take flight today, with one million Australians forecast to get on a plane at some point during the holidays.
At Sydney Airport, there were already lengthy delays before the first flight of the day at 6am, with cabs queueing up outside the departure terminals.
About 80,000 people are expected through the airport today, with 350,000 over the weekend.
Security contractors have warned the problem could even extend beyond Easter, as they struggle to build their numbers up to pre-pandemic levels.
Security staff have been offered $1000 incentives to work all 14 days of the holidays – a move criticised by the union.
In Melbourne, three cancelled Qantas flights this morning due to crew shortages have led to a buildup of passengers for that terminal, but early this morning things were calmer – if still busy – for Virgin and Jetstar.
A shortage of baggage handlers means it’s not just departing travellers being delayed, with arrivals waiting an hour or more to retrieve their luggage.
Yesterday, a flight from Melbourne to Brisbane took off with no passenger luggage loaded. Performer Rhonda Burchmore was among those on board.
“I’ve got only what I’m wearing now. I’ve got medication in that suitcase,” she said.
“My suitcases had all my costumes, my whole show in those suitcases.”
Qantas said it would work to deliver that baggage to the passengers today.
In Queensland, meanwhile, thousands are hitting the road for the holidays, prompting a warning from police.
They are urging people to be patient and drive safely to their destination, after bumper-to-bumper traffic leaving Brisbane yesterday.