Peter Kennan, private sector co-chair of the Transport and Environment Board at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, flew out of Terminal 3 and found it ‘very well organised’, with polite staff and relatively short queues.
But he said there was ‘definitely still a problem’ in the very early morning.
The airport has received a torrent of bad publicity in recent months over security queues lasting hours due to a lack of staff.
Some passengers were forced to queue to enter the terminal, some flights were delayed and others left without passengers. Airport bosses have been recruiting, but training takes time.
Mr Kennan admitted he paid for fast-track security but said all the queues were relatively short.
Here are his tips for travelling:
1) Do not arrive too early before check in opens as it just adds to the numbers needing to be accommodated before check in and security
2) Be aware of things in hand luggage which delay security - hairdryers, gels and pastes (solid deodorants are a particular issue as they mysteriously count as a liquid). If in doubt get it out! Never be afraid to use extra trays. If, for example, you put your phone on top of your liquids bag, then that is a huge fail and it will get pulled.
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3) Spread things out in the trays with nothing on top of anything else. Don’t be too hasty. Take 10 seconds more to save 15 minutes for you and others.
4) If booking flights now, try to avoid 6am to 9am departures if you can, and buy fast track if offered by the carrier (or with your car parking)
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5) The new staff are not embedded in the old culture and a lot of the old staff left during the pandemic. You might actually find, like I did, a step change in attitude towards passengers.
He added: “Take the time to say hello and ask staff how they are. You might even get a smile. What a change that is from 2019 when Manchester Airport was just awful. I did not feel any of that old hostility from staff yesterday, which gives a lot of room for optimism going forward.”