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Long weekend, long Airport queues ahead as congestion builds again

Tens of thousands of Australians are flocking to airports across the nation for a getaway over the Queen's Birthday long weekend, sparking more queues and delays.

Tens of thousands of Australians are flocking to airports across the nation for a getaway over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, sparking more queues and delays.

This is starting to feel like Groundhog day.

Melbourne Airport is bracing for its busiest day since the pandemic hit, with more than 97,000 passengers expected to travel on Friday.

There were long lines to check-in for Virgin flights early on Friday morning, with several routes cancelled or delayed.

Congestion at the airport has since eased but passengers have been urged to plan ahead and arrive early as terminals are likely to be busy across the day.

“We’re advising passengers to arrive between one and two hours before a domestic flight and two to three hours before international flights to allow plenty of time for check-in and to clear security,” a Melbourne Airport spokesman said.

In Sydney, where more than 80,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport on Friday, queues began to build at about 5am.

Travellers are being urged to arrive two hours before their domestic flights.

A Sydney Airport spokesman said all security lanes at the airport were open and operating well and that crowds reflected “a typical busy day pre-COVID”.

“The lines at security aren’t long … it’s moving really really well,” he told AAP.

Staff shortages exacerbated by COVID-19 isolation rules led to chaos at airports including Sydney in the lead-up to Easter in April.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet attributed the airport queues to labour shortages he said were being experienced “right across the country”.

Mr Perrottet said he would raise the issue with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese when the pair met in Canberra next week.

“I’ll be certainly raising the labour shortages in this country because they need to be addressed,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“They can’t be addressed necessarily at a state level, it needs to be nationally led, and that’s what we’ll be raising next week.”

Meanwhile, in Europe, the labour strife is driving expectations of more travel headaches during the busy summer season, with airports and airlines clamouring to find more workers to minimise cancelled flights and reduce delays for passengers. Read more here.

Via AAP