Long queues for holidaymakers at airports

·2-min read

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

Melbourne Airport was on Friday set to have its busiest day since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with more than 95,000 passengers expected to travel.

"It's kind of unimaginable, actually, because Easter and Christmas are traditionally our busiest," airport chief executive Lorie Argus told Nine News.

There were long lines to check in for Virgin flights early on Friday, with several routes cancelled or delayed. The airline experienced a technical issue with its baggage drop, however it was fixed in about 10 minutes.

Congestion eased later in the day but passengers were urged to plan ahead and arrive early.

Another 90,000 passengers were expected to pass through the airport on Monday.

"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 on Friday.

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

Travellers were urged to arrive two hours before 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 isolation rules had led to chaos at airports in the lead-up to Easter.

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

He 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 the labour shortages in this country because they need to be addressed," Mr Perrottet 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."

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