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Passengers advised to allow enough time to check-in as demand takes off
Last minute flight bookings fuelled by the poor weather this summer are taking passenger numbers at Bristol International Airport to their highest levels so far this year.
During the winter months, demand for air travel was impacted by economic conditions in the UK, but traffic on international scheduled routes to and from Bristol is now returning to 2008 levels, with the dash for the sun pushing load factors even higher on popular routes.
This month is set to be the airport’s busiest so far this year, with easyJet basing a twelfth aircraft at Bristol International for two weeks during August. This follows the introduction of two additional Boeing 737-800s by Ryanair in July, doubling the size of the airline’s South West base.
As well as South West travellers heading for warmer climes, demand for car hire and the Flyer bus service also indicate an increase in overseas visitors flying into the region, with events such as Glastonbury, the Bristol Balloon Fiesta and the Banksy Exhibition at the Bristol Museum proving to be big draws this summer. Over 288,000 people have travelled on the Flyer so far this year - 11.7 per cent of total passengers.
A planning application to extend the terminal building has been submitted to North Somerset Council, and proposed enhancements include increasing the number of security channels from seven to 12 and creating 19 new check-in desks and fast bag drops. This would help alleviate the congestion which can currently be experienced in the terminal at peak times.
In the absence of space for new facilities until planning permission is granted, the terminal team is encouraging the use of technology to keep customer inconvenience to a minimum.
Passengers flying with Air France, KLM, Air Southwest, OLT, Aurigny and Eastern are encouraged to use self-service kiosks in the check-in hall to avoid queues, while Ryanair and easyJet passengers travelling with hand luggage only can check-in online and go straight to security.
However, those using self-service or online check-in are reminded to allow reasonable time to clear security before their flight is called in order to be at the boarding gate 45 minutes before the time of departure.
James Gore, Head of Communications at Bristol International Airport, said:
“We ask passengers travelling with scheduled airlines during August to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes ahead of their departure time – and three hours ahead if travelling on a charter flight.
“The terminal team is working hard to keep any queues moving quickly, but leaving it late to check-in or clear security can create problems and could mean running the risk of missing a flight.
“The constraints of our current facilities are brought into focus at peak periods, and August is our busiest month of the year. By arriving early, passengers can help to ensure that the airport continues to provide a pleasant starting point, whether travelling for leisure or on business.”
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