Airport queues, security chaos, Covid tests and not enough staffing.

These are the headlines now associated with Britain's airports and travel abroad post pandemic. 

From PLF paperwork to anxiety over long queues, nothing feels exactly calming about air travel.

The last time I flew abroad, I witnessed horrendously long queues for luggage check in and security around 3am at Manchester Airport. 

So it's fair to say I had some apprehension over what flying from Leeds Bradford Airport to Warsaw, Poland, could hold. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: I had some apprehension over what flying from Leeds Bradford Airport would be likeI had some apprehension over what flying from Leeds Bradford Airport would be like

Just days before, I'd written about Leeds Bradford Airport urging people to arrive three hours before their flight, describing how this action alone could cut down the wait for security. 

I'd seen photos of holidaygoers lined up outside the entrance with their suitcases in tow, suggesting many people were arriving far too early for their flight.

Our flight was in the midst of 'peak time', the period between 12pm and 3pm as well as the first flights of the day in early morning.

We arrived just under three hours before our flight, as requested, and there was already a long line of travellers inside by the main doors. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Queues in Leeds Bradford AirportQueues in Leeds Bradford Airport

I overheard one worker tell a passenger that the queues had been much worse around 4am that day (Saturday, June 25).

But perhaps what gave me a feeling of relief was the pace at which the queue was moving and hard-working staff pulling passengers to the front as their flight departure neared.

In total, we spent 55 minutes in the queue and passing through security - not bad at all, I thought.

But I must admit one life hack that has changed my travel experience endless times, I only take hand luggage where possible.

From my experience during four trips in 2022 so far, the one thing that makes the difference between a smooth ride and stressful one is checking in luggage. 

When I flew from Manchester Airport earlier in June, the queue for the luggage check-in area stretched for what felt like miles.

Even at Leeds Bradford, holidaymakers had separate queues for luggage to get through before even taking on the security line.

In my opinion, this is the sticking point for those dreaded delays and missed flights, not security.

You can see that airport workers are doing their absolute best in a bad situation, as the industry tackles air traffic control delays, recruitment issues and staff shortages. 

Without these people, we would be nowhere.