Birmingham Airport chaos: How labour shortages are affecting the travel experience 
May 27th, 2022, Stephan Shakespeare

Birmingham Airport chaos: How labour shortages are affecting the travel experience 

In recent months, Birmingham Airport has been hit by disruption, delays, and queues. Reports on Monday, May 9 indicated “absolute chaos” outside the terminal, as the airport became the latest to suffer from the labour shortages which have affected the whole industry. Many of those who worked in the sector before the pandemic have requalified or found new roles and the travel industry – from hotels to airlines – has struggled to replace them quickly enough to meet surging demand.

Nevertheless, data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that the public are not entirely sympathetic to these issues: net Buzz scores, a measure of whether they have seen or heard anything positive or negative about a brand, fell from -0.9 to -9.4 between May 8 and May 15 (-8.5). Impression, which gauges general positive and negative sentiment, halved from 8.2 to 4.5 (-3.7).

With Consideration scores (which, in this case, measure whether consumers would be more likely to use Birmingham Airport when given a choice of a number of airports), inching downwards from 13.3 to 10.7, people are less likely to fly out from the travel hub than they were before (-2.6).


It is a peculiar irony that the escalating difficulties in Birmingham may well be a sign of an industry that is in increasingly robust health. While some commentators foresaw devastating changes to travel and tourism as a result of COVID-19 – and in the short-term, at least, they were correct – the snaking, “mile-long” lines could be indicative of an appetite for post-vaccine, post-restriction travel that even airports are struggling to satiate. Data from YouGov Global Travel Profiles shows that, when asked what they are looking for in their next travel destination, three in five Britons (59%) agree that they “just need to get away” from home.

This article originally appeared in City A.M.