What you need to know before travelling through Manchester Airport this Christmas
Manchester Airport is expecting its busiest December for three years, with more than 1.7m passengers expected to travel through this month.
The festive period is always particularly hectic, with travellers jetting off to spend time with family and friends, and this year many will be looking forward to a first Christmas together since the pandemic restrictions that kept them apart were lifted.
Being prepared for your journey is always important, but there are some specific considerations that passengers should be mindful of at this time of year, and the northern hub has issued step-by-step guidance to help travellers with their plans.
Check which terminal you’re flying from before arriving at the airport
Many of those flying out of Manchester Airport at Christmas might only travel once per year, when they go to visit relatives living overseas – and, as the airport is now fully operational, as opposed to last year when Terminal Three remained closed – the terminal that your airline is operating from may be different to last year.
Be sure to check which terminal your flight departs from before setting off, to avoid any mishaps on arrival.
If you or someone in your party has reduced mobility, book any airline assistance you require in advance.
Assistance services at Manchester Airport are run by a specialist provider and can be booked in advance through your airline. Demand is always high at busy times of year so please do book in advance to avoid the risk of a lengthy wait for assistance when you arrive.
Leave plenty of time for your journey (particularly in bad weather)
Wintry weather can be beautiful but is also very disruptive to transport. This year there is also some planned industrial action on the transport network. Make sure you have planned your journey to the airport, whether by road or rail, and ensure you have a plan B in the event of disruption.
Remember the liquids, gels and pastes rule for hand luggage…
Ensure products in your hand luggage containing liquids, gels or pastes are in a clear, resealable bag and don’t exceed 100ml each.
This includes items that you may take away with you at this time of year for a taste of home or as a gift for a loved one – such as perfume, aftershave, make-up, condiments such as jams, butter and marmite, beverages and snow globes. If these exceed 100ml, pack them in your hold luggage.
…and remember that certain foods contain liquids!
Solid food in sealed packs is allowed through security, but if a food item contains a liquid, gel or paste, then the regular hand luggage rules may apply.
Mince pies and yule logs are fine, but Christmas puddings are very dense and can sometimes be flagged by our security scanners as a result, which means your bag would require a manual search. They are technically permitted in your hand luggage, but we advise they are packed in your hold luggage, for this reason.
If you want to take Christmas crackers – check with your airline
There is no hard-and-fast rule on taking Christmas crackers on board an aircraft – some airlines will let you take one or two sealed boxes, whereas others ban them altogether. In many cases this is dependent on the rules in the country you’re travelling to.
If you’re planning to take Christmas crackers with you, check with your airline in advance as to whether they will be permitted.
Do not bring wrapped presents
If your bag is selected for secondary screening during the security process, wrapped presents may need to be opened by a security officer for inspection, whether in your hand luggage or hold luggage. Wrap presents once you have reached your destination wherever possible.
Take off coats / jackets and other winter wear before reaching security
Our security colleagues will always do their best to get you through as quickly as they can at peak periods, and more than 97% of passengers are now getting through security in under 15 minutes.
However, you can help keep waiting times down by removing outer layers before you reach the front of the security queue, having them ready to put straight into a tray.
Do also try to be as efficient as possible with how you use your trays – so long as items are not covering each other, multiple winter wear items can go into the same tray. Passengers going through security will, on average, use more trays at this time of year than in summer – because of their additional outer wear – and the conveyor belts in each security lane have a limited capacity so using more trays than you need to can slow the process down for those behind you.
Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the 1.7 million passengers who will travel through our airport over the festive period. This is a special time of the year for many, and we’re determined to make sure our guests get their Christmas off to the best possible start with a smooth and enjoyable journey through the airport.
“Being prepared is vitally important though, and we realise that, for some, this will be their first trip since before the pandemic. I’d encourage everyone flying out of Manchester over the Christmas period to check for road and rail disruption in advance of their journey to the airport, and to familiarise themselves with the current security rules.”
To find out more visit https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/.