Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Other Destination advice BHX Birmingham airport hell; move over, Manchester!


    BHX has always had a very small set of stairs just opposite the lifts and I noticed these are now blocked off and only used by staff.

    Must admit I thought the lifts were an interim solution and they were going to build a new escalator! Nothing to blame passengers for wanting to get to the airport early. If they opened up more security lanes they would resolve the issue overnight but this would mean paying for more staff and losing out on the money they are making out of fastpass (which isn’t that fast). Totally unacceptable!

    Misty 315 posts

    @ChrisBCN I know it isn’t really funny but your opening post made me laugh out loud., I’ve only been to Birmingham once and that was to look round the University, but you almost made me want to visit.

    There was me thinking that Gatwick was the 7th circle of hell and Heathrow five airports crammed into the space for 3 airports.

    TGLoyalty 807 posts

    @ChrisBCN that’s capacity going into a queue to security … if security scanner isnt empty when you get to it how is that causing some huge issue.

    I completely get it if you were going up the lifts and then straight through security but absolutely wasn’t the case when I last used. Had another huge queue which I got to skip and then every scanner had queues itself still.

    ChrisBCN 292 posts

    Got upstairs and was pulled to the front

    Had another huge queue which I got to skip

    You seem to be expert at queue jumping, bravo sir! You are truly fit to be a BHX user. Just one curiosity – you seem to imply you haven’t seen the problems, yet you have skipped queues…

    TGLoyalty 807 posts

    I didn’t say I haven’t seen any problem read both my posts again … and I skipped the queue because they were calling flights in the next hour … of which many had flights in the next 3/4 hours.

    I said you keep blaming the lifts as the issues I’m simply saying it’s NOT the issue if when you get upstairs there’s still a horrendous queue .. people are making it upstairs in enough numbers they just can’t make it through actual security quick enough, partly it’s because of “I came 4 hours early” muppets.

    I actually think BHX could massively improve this situation and that’s only let you join the line to the lift if your flight is in the next 120 mins. Atleast while the works are on going and the security scanners aren’t in optimal working conditions.

    I’ll put it really simply for you if they can only process 50 people a minute through security the fact that only 100 people a minute can get up the lifts is not a problem.

    The fact you don’t see scores of people free queues upstairs means the lifts is not the issue one bit.

    TGLoyalty 807 posts

    @Travel Strong also hit the nail on the head really early in this thread as BHX has always had terrible morning security problem because the flight schedule is pre 10am heavy.

    If your flight is after 10 usually it’s pretty calm and after 4 it’s generally bliss.

    ChrisBCN 292 posts

    Its OK, I dont need to read your posts again.

    I said you keep blaming the lifts as the issues

    Perhaps you should read mine again? Where I additionally blamed security

    All those new lanes! Lots of capacity! One day there will be even be enough staff to open them.

    I’m sorry that you cant see the issues of capacity/throughput being lower than passenger volume, despite the fact that you have needed to be pulled out of queues.

    TGLoyalty 807 posts

    The 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of your first post don’t seem to be blaming the security throughput at all for the issue but rather the new design has caused pinch points you can’t pass quick enough to get to the actual security check … I’ve been pretty consistent in saying the ACTUAL pinch point is at security check and that is exacerbated by morons turning up far too early ie if they need to clear 2000 people an hour between 5am and 10am but 6000 turn up at 5am it’s going to be absolute carnage .. and the unclear LAG rules … hence what’s happening.

    “The chaos has been caused by the redesign of the route from departures to the brand new security ~pit~ hall, where BHX have helpfully designed-in brand new pinch points where you can stop and get to know your fellow passengers for the next few hours.

    If you are lucky, you will be able to spend an hour or two queuing outside the terminal enjoying the delightful Midlands weather – why not take a picnic blanket and sit down and eat your jam sandwiches whilst you wait?”

    Super Secret Stuff 373 posts

    You do have to wonder what will happen if one or two of the lifts breaks…

    AFKAE 150 posts

    Good morning, this is your correspondent reporting from the front line of BHX security.

    All good news I’m pleased to say.

    Caveats, I was HBO and had fast track security and entered by the monorail.

    Timings were got off monorail at 5am (close to peak time) and exited security at 5.15am-yes you read that right 15 minutes to get through. A further 3 minute delay as Mrs bag failed the scanner, the operator said the scanner doesn’t like Tresemme products!!. Even with this secondary check she exited security at 5.18am.

    If your ticket doesn’t give you fast track, BUY IT IT WILL BE THE BEST £7.50 YOU EVER SPEND.

    Small differences between my afternoon recce and the reality this morning. Yesterday afternoon you could easily get straight from the monorail into either of the security queues. Whereas this morning there was a manned tensa barrier trying to send you downstairs. But, fast track means they will open the barrier and let you into the fast track queue and then you are off.

    In summary try to be HBO, buy fast track security and go to the monorail.


    Annie 221 posts

    @AFKAE thanks so much for that.

    I have already purchased fast track for my August trip with grandkids and will be sure to be dropped off at the station. We are on a Tui package , my first ever package holiday, and can drop the bags the night before so will be HBO at 4 am.
    I spent half of yesterday trying to establish whether the children need to be present for twilight bag drop and I’m told they don’t so fingers crossed.

    Booking this trip from BHX seemed like a good idea at the time !

    Hope you have a great trip.

    Grant 126 posts

    Many thanks @AFKAE. Enjoy your trip.

    mrd 26 posts

    I’m flying out end of the year but it’s a mid afternoon flight, wondering whether I should buy an express lane pass now, but being optimistic hoping that they would have ironed out these issues…

    Froggee 1,001 posts

    This makes me shudder despite the chance of me ever using Birmingham airport being pretty much zero.

    , for what it’s worth , this is Edinburgh Airport’s twilight checkin wording (which includes four airlines but not Tui). The conclusion is don’t bring grandchildren but do bring their passports and boarding passes. And bring the lead booker also if that is not you!

    “The lead booker must be present when bags are being dropped off, and while they can drop off up to six bags on behalf of others they are travelling with, it’s important to note they’ll need to bring everyone’s passports and boarding passes with them.”

    Aston100 1,502 posts

    When did people start referring to the maglev as ‘the monorail’?

    Peter K 619 posts

    When did people start referring to the maglev as ‘the monorail’?

    I don’t know when, but Birmingham Airport call it that themselves:

    “Birmingham Airport is directly connected to over 100 towns and cities via Birmingham International Station and the ‘Air-Rail Link’ monorail system.”,and%2000%3A30%20hours%20daily.

    ChrisBCN 292 posts

    Thanks @AFKAE, I’m pleased you survived intact!

    ChrisBCN 292 posts

    When did people start referring to the maglev as ‘the monorail’?

    It stopped levitating on magnets nearly 30 years ago! You could argue it should be called a cable car now, as it’s pulled along by a … cable.

    Rui N. 888 posts

    When did people start referring to the maglev as ‘the monorail’?

    Maybe 29 years ago when the Maglev closed?

    Annie 221 posts

    Thanks for that.

    I’m 45 minutes away from BHX and 80 minutes away from LHR. I gave up on BHX years ago but being the Yorkshire woman that I am I chose cost over sanity on this occasion. I’m having palpitations already.

    Annie 221 posts

    My Warwickshire husband calls it the Maglev, I always thought it was weird.

    Peter K 619 posts

    I used the monorail a few times last year. It amused me each time how it had dramatic, exciting music playing as it started moving, and until halfway through the journey, but how this ended about 30-60 seconds before the end of the ride and you’re left in sudden silence.

    It’s like they forgot to time how long the journey was when commissioning the music and have never bothered to change or extend it, with a “close enough” shrug of the shoulders 😁

    Aston100 1,502 posts

    It’s not even a monorail!

    If it’s pulled by cables, shouldn’t it be a funicular or something?

    Ladyshopper 123 posts

    I am dreading this. We’re flying from there to Doha in October. I’ve also got special assistance booked.

    Really hope things have calmed down a bit by then. Our flight is at 8am, so was hoping that getting there for 5am was going to be ample time.

    Have to say I’ve booked the special assistance many times for my mum,
    and it’s always been excellent.

    It’s not special assistance itself I’m worried about. It’s getting it in the first place – if there is a queue out of the door, how on earth am I going to access it? And do the special assistance people also get caught in the queues, and if so does that mean I might struggle to get the assistance as they’ll all be caught up?

    I can’t stand for long without being in a lot of pain, so it’s just a bit of a worry.

    Annie 221 posts

    Fun cannot be part of any word in relation to BHX.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.