All hands on deck for holiday rush at Melbourne Airport

The airport is forecasting a total of 4.2 million domestic travellers over the two months, which is 95 per cent of pre-Covid traffic for the same period in 2019, with numbers on some days expected to equal pre-Covid levels.

Just over 1.7 million international passengers will pass through Melbourne Airport during the December/January period, with December traffic five times higher than 2021 when Victoria’s international border re-opened.

In a positive sign for the state’s economy, the airport is expecting around 46,000 more international arrivals than departures across the holiday period, with numbers bolstered by the Australian Open.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus said that the airport is well equipped to handle the increase in passengers, but travellers should plan to leave plenty of time before their flight to avoid unnecessary stress.

“We encourage people travelling over the summer holidays to plan to arrive 1-2 hours before a domestic flight and 2-3 hours before an international flight – but not earlier than that, as some airlines don’t open check-in and will be managing large passenger volumes,” she said.

“Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are shaping up to be the busiest travel days, with passenger numbers on some days expected to surpass 100,000 passengers.

“We will have measures in place to facilitate smooth holiday travel, such as increased security staff, strategic aircraft bay allocation to spread passenger loads, additional customer service teams across our car parks, corporate staff assisting in terminals and technicians on hand to quickly respond to any infrastructure issues.

“We already have early indications that our car parks will be busy, particularly over weekends, so we encourage people to book a car space online as far in advance as possible.

“Airlines and airport businesses have been busy recruiting new staff to rebuild their workforce, and for many of them this will be their first Christmas working at the airport, so we ask people to be patient and respectful as the team works to get you where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible.”

Tips to help facilitate smooth holiday travel:
• Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to find a car park, check-in and clear security
• Write your name and phone number on a bag tag and attach it to luggage as an extra precaution
• Be prepared for security: ensure your bags are clear of things that you can’t travel with
• Look for our friendly customer service staff and volunteers if you have any questions at the airport