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Chaos took hold at airports around Australia today, with exceptionally long queues, bags left behind and flights cancelled on Good Friday Eve.
With more than one million Aussies expected to fly over the Easter long weekend, and airports already struggling with a surge in travellers throughout the week, passengers had for days been warned to expect long delays.

However, some flights did not take off at all, with Jetstar flights from Hobart to Adelaide cancelled this afternoon.

Australia’s airports are braced for their busiest day in years. (Peter Rae)

Chaos at Melbourne Airport has led to a flight travelling to Brisbane without a single piece of luggage on board, according to an announcement made at Brisbane Airport.

Passengers have been told their bags will arrive in Queensland “in the coming days”.

Performer Rhonda Burchmore was on that flight, headed to star in Cabaret de Paris on Saturday night.

She was devastated to discover all her stage costumes and props for the show had been lost.

Today was the busiest day for travel since the pandemic began, with more than 88,000 travellers to go through Melbourne Airport, 82,000 through Sydney Airport, 59,000 through Brisbane Airport and 25,000 through Adelaide.

Long queues began to form at Adelaide Airport by 5am, with a shortage of baggage handlers said to be behind the delays.

A pilot sick with COVID-19 resulted in a morning flight cancellation and a wait at the help desk for travellers.

Adelaide Airport managing director Brenton Cox asked travellers to be mindful of the morning rush.

From Easter Thursday to Easter Monday, Adelaide airport is expecting more than 80,000 people with the potential for up to 100,000 people, according to Mr Cox.

Sydney Airport saw long lines early in the morning, before congestion eased and passengers went on to clear check-in and security within an hour.

Brisbane airport saw its busiest day in two years, however security lines were managed with only a 20-minute wait-time for passengers.

Several flights were cancelled due to staff being required to isolate.

Chaos ramped up at Melbourne Airport late morning.

Some passengers who arrived from Perth were forced to wait more than an hour to collect their luggage.

People are being told to brace for delays and to arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lyall Stranby has said COVID-19 resulted in thousands of highly skilled workers being made redundant.

Staff shortages are meeting high demand from travellers. (Peter Rae)

They are scaling up the workforce, but given the safety-critical nature of the job it will take time.

The majority of the delays have been at check-ins, but people have also been waiting up to an hour for their bags upon arrival in Melbourne.

April 14

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Source: 9News

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