Perth Airport has warned travellers to travel to the airport in taxis and Ubers as its 18,000-spot car park is at full capacity while holidaymakers continue to battle long queues and flight cancellations.
A spokesperson for the airport stated that the issue could persist for at least three days due to “unprecedented” demand during the current school holiday period, and advised travellers to think ahead for alternative ways to travel to the airport this week.
“A surge in demand means that no further online bookings with be available for bookings starting in the next 72 hours,” they said.
“Passengers are advised to plan in advance and book parking online at least a week prior to their trip to secure a parking bay and to access the best available rate.
“Those travelling in the next few days should consider taxi or ride-share options to get to the airport.”
Perth’s parking shortage comes amid the mid-year school holiday travel surge, and is the latest in a long string of problems seen in airports across Australia — and the globe — leading to snaking queues at check-in and security, lost and delayed baggage, and growing flight cancellations.
The industry has chalked up the chaotic scenes to the “perfect storm” of pent-up travel demand, COVID absences, and an underlying shortage of aviation staff.
Meanwhile, Jetstar has cancelled three flights between Perth and Bali this week due to “resourcing challenges”, wreaking havoc on the holiday plans of hundreds of travellers.
The airline cancelled its 6:50am services from Perth to Denpasar on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and delayed its Wednesday service to 4:30pm.
Travellers on cancelled flights were informed that all direct flights from Perth were now full until 12 July, making rebooking a direct flight nearly impossible.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel a number of our Perth Denpasar services due to ongoing resourcing challenges, which are similar to those faced by other airlines and the aviation industry around the world,” a Jetstar spokesperson said.
“We appreciate this is extremely frustrating for customers, especially during the school holiday period, and sincerely apologise for the disruption this delay has caused.
“Our team is exploring all options, including adding ad hoc services where possible, booking customers on other Qantas and Jetstar flights or services with other airlines.
“We consider each customer’s situation on a case by case basis and are offering them a range of options including refunds and a letter for their insurer.”
Last week, Australian Aviation reported that the combination of heavy rain and school holidays have led to more disruption across Australia’s airports.
Travellers have taken to social media to show photos of snaking queues.
Sydney Airport previously warned it would welcome 2.1 million passengers across the holiday period — significantly higher than the 1.8 million seen during the equivalent Easter break.
Internationally, more than 560,000 passengers are forecast, compared to 376,000 during the three-week break period in April.
The situation appears to be comparing favourably to the previous disruption. A later report revealed domestic flight delays in April were the worst since records began, with almost 40 per cent of arrivals and departures disrupted due to operational chaos during the busy Easter period.
Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport’s CEO, said departing passengers should plan to leave plenty of time before their flight.
“We encourage people to allow time to get to the airport, check-in and go through security, as there may be queues, particularly at peak travel times,” she said.
“Equally, we’d ask people don’t arrive too early because some airlines don’t open check-in until two hours before a domestic departure and three hours prior to an international flight.
“The aviation industry is still working to rebuild our workforce following the pandemic, and staffing remains an issue for some operators, particularly in baggage and ground handling.”