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Airport Easter mania

Fly-in, fly-out workers waiting to board at Perth Domestic Airport today. Photo: Rachel Green.

Perth avoided the chaos seen at Sydney Airport today, but travellers still experienced delays.

Domestic passengers across Australia are being advised to arrive two hours prior to their departure this Easter holiday.

Perth Airport was today expecting its busiest day since the start of the pandemic and airport staff are advising passengers to plan ahead.

“We are advising people to arrive two hours earlier to avoid missing their flights. The chaos in Sydney and Melbourne are causing delays from our end and it’s just crazy,” an airport spokesperson says.

Fly-in, fly-out worker Timothy John, told Western Independent he had never seen the airport so busy.

Fly-in, fly-out workers at Perth Airport. Photo: Rachel Green.

“When I went to security, they directed us to a different terminal because the lines were so long,” he says

With the rise of COVID-19 cases and the rules surrounding close contacts, the airport has been hit hard. 

Check in, along with security lines, are moving slowly due to the amount of traffic.

“Due to the pandemic, we are very short on staff, which is the worst possible timing. You obviously don’t want anyone to miss their flight or have to wait, but with so many people and little staff it’s really difficult,” the airport spokesperson says. 

Sydney Airport is experiencing queues out of the door as more than 82,000 people meant to pass through today. 

Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert says the airport is currently operating at 60 per cent staff capacity.

“The workforce shortages we are facing are cutting across almost every sector in Australia and, in the aviation industry, we’ve seen similar scenes play out with airports and airlines globally,” says Mr Culbert.  

Passenger Jarrah Smith-Taylor, recently just touched down in Perth from Sydney, and said she experienced some strife when she departed.

“There were barely any staff around. When we walked in, all the check-in desks were closed and there was only self-check-in. There were three female staff members working the floor across three different self-check-in clusters, baggage drop-offs, and the empty desks. I had trouble checking in on my own and it took me awhile to find someone to help me,” she says.

Jarrah Smith-Taylor at Perth Airport. Photo: Rachel Green.

“The staff were very considerate and helpful, but you could tell they were outnumbered.”

Compared to the flood of people in Sydney, Ms Smith-Taylor says she navigated Perth Airport with ease when getting on another flight to the south-west.

“Perth was an absolute breeze compared to Sydney. We had no problems checking in all together in our group and had someone helping us through the whole time.”

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