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Security queue times: improvements to operation mean we’re changing the way we do our updates

Last updated Aug 12, 2022

It’s been an incredibly busy summer at Edinburgh Airport, and it’s been great to see an excitement return to the terminal for the first time in three years.

We’ve seen people heading away on their first ever family holidays. Newlyweds have gone on long awaited honeymoons.  Friends have reunited. Sports and research teams have gone to other countries.

That buzz is what the airport thrives on – but yes, there have been challenges along the way and although we dealt with them as best we could, we know it wasn’t perfect all the time.

One of the things we felt was important to do was to provide information to passengers on things we control, such as sharing security wait times

Many of you will have noticed our website features a live tracker which measures the queue time inside our security hall, and in addition to that we began posting regular overall security queue times on our social media platforms earlier this summer.

But as of Monday 15 August, we’ll be changing how we do that – read on to find out why.

The current format

At the moment we share updates four times a day: 0500, 0900, 1300, 1700.

These updates indicate whether people are likely to experience security times of between 1-20 minutes, 20-40 minutes or 40-60 minutes from first joining the queue.

They’ve been incredibly helpful in terms of pre-awareness for passengers returning to travel for the first time in three years and who have been concerned after seeing issues at other airports.

Challenges across the entire aviation industry, allied to exaggerated reports of 'airport chaos', painted an inaccurate picture of the queues seen at Edinburgh Airport - adding to the anxiety of passengers and resulting in longer waits as more and more people arrived at the airport early.

We’ll always give our passengers the correct information, and in a responsible way.

Timely changes to the security updates

In all honesty, we were really happy at the positive engagement from the overwhelming majority of passengers who took the time to tell us about their experience in security – it meant a lot to us. And where there was an issue, we were keen to learn from it.

But as we’ve moved through the summer and staff have gained more experience and passengers have transitioned back into normal travel habits, we’ve seen security queue times consistently in the lower 1-20 minute time frame. And that’s why we’re making some changes.

What’s the situation like at the moment?

We’ll let you into a secret…the airport environment means there will always be queues at times. That was true before the pandemic and will be true going forwards, especially at peak times. It’s just the nature of busy environments, unfortunately!

Pre-pandemic at peak times we were around 10-15-minute waits at most and we’re seeing that again now.

In fact, in the first week of August 80.4 per cent of passengers were through security in less than ten minutes and 94.3 per cent were through in less than 15 minutes. Looking specifically at our FastTRACK queues a total of 74.5 per cent of passengers were through in less than five minutes, 96.3 per cent were through in less than eight minutes, and 99.3 per cent were through in less than ten minutes.

With this in mind we’re going to withdraw from the four-time daily updates and instead move to a new format.

Where waits exceed 30 minutes then we’ll issue an update on the social platforms, if the queues are any shorter than best check the live website tracker for the most accurate information.

Why? Well, we’re seeing a return to normality (something everyone has been craving, no matter what industry you work in or where you live) and we’ll reflect that in our approach.

It also means the update will be more impactful due to the (hopefully!) sporadic nature of it.

We’ll introduce this from Monday 15 August.

Will I still be able to check live times?

Yes, of course!

As stated the live tracker on the website measures the time taken to clear security once you are through the eGates and that will remain as a fixture on the website.

Our social media team will still be on hand to answer any questions you may have, whether that’s about rules on liquids or what food is okay to bring through.

And we’ll keep all of this under review, as we do across our operations.

One final thing…

Thank you to everyone who has worked with us over the past few months.

We know the return to travel hasn’t always been easy and the vast majority of passengers have been patient and considerate to everyone involved in the process.

It’s been appreciated and we’re glad to have helped you get away. And we look forward to you coming back to the airport.

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