Footage taken at the easyJet and Ryanair hub shows queues of tourists snake through the terminal and outside it. The huge wait was largely for passengers to get through security at the hub, which blamed “staff shortages” for the delays.
The airport confirmed some holidaymakers waited more than an hour to get through to the departures gates.
And it caused a furore on social media, Bristol Live reports.
One woman tweeted at 7.11am: “What an utter shambles this morning. A deeply unpleasant experience.”
Beth Roche, who by 6.26am had been queuing for two hours, posted: “Absolute chaos this morning. Queue for security the length of the airport OUTSIDE.”
In a lengthy statement, Bristol Airport apologised to passengers and said it is “constantly reviewing resources”.
A spokesman said: “We apologise to customers impacted by above average queue times during early morning peak operations today (Wednesday 11 May); security experienced a maximum queue time of 65 minutes.
“We work closely with all business partners to ensure staffing levels are sufficient to provide a good service to passengers with an average queue time of 30 minutes for security. However, on some occasions staff shortages can impact on waiting times and service standards.
“We constantly review resourcing across all areas and adapt plans to meet demand and build in resilience where possible. Whilst recruiting and training new colleagues for the airport can take time, the Bristol Airport team and business partners will be working hard to ensure all customers have a smooth and easy journey through our terminal.
“We advise all customers to arrive in the terminal two hours before scheduled flight departure time – or when the airline bag drop /check-in desk opens to allow sufficient time to complete all the necessary check-in, bag-drop, security, and boarding processes ahead of their flight.
“Bristol Airport recommends all passengers to prepare before arriving at security.”
Among the ways pasengers can prepare for security, the airport says, include:
- Have your boarding card ready
- Remove laptop computers and other large electrical devices
- Place liquids in separate liquids bags
- Empty your pockets into the trays provided
- Take off your jacket and/or coat