Heathrow Airport’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye is blaming people traveling with makeup for the historically long security lines at his airport. In comments made during a radio interview, the boss said people worried about losing a checked bag are bringing makeup with them in their carry-on – and getting it wrong.
The controversial comments, which some believed were directed at women, come on the heels of what can only be seen as an unmitigated disaster by the airport to properly prepare for and staff the many functions necessary for a well-oiled airport experience.
On the heels of an incredibly busy summer travel season, historically long security lines have exasperated travelers. This frustration, when coupled with lost bags, cancellations and delays, and several reported issued loading and unloading disabled passengers, has many in the travel industry on the defensive.
Many experts suggest the source of many of the problems is staffing. Simply put, many employers, from airport ground crews, to security entities, to shops, airlines and everything in between, did not hire enough employees to deal with a surge in travel. Now, on their heels, these same firms simply can’t hire staff fast enough to keep up with demand.
Holland-Kaye, who runs one of the largest airports in the world, has suggested that a large portion of the travel delays experienced by his airport are now due to people traveling with too much makeup. In comments made on the “Leading Britain’s Conversation” radio station, Holland kay noted, “They have got more bags, and more liquids in their bags so that takes a little bit longer. A lot of people are put off from checking in all of their make-up for example because they are worried about whether their bag will make the journey with them.”
He went on to say, “They have got more bags, and more liquids in their bags so that takes a little bit longer,” he said. A lot of people are put off from checking in all of their make-up for example because they are worried about whether their bag will make the journey with them.”
The beleaguered CEO is also blaming a viral TikTok hack for the travel woes that have travelers faking an injury to score wheelchair access through security lines.
Holland-Kaye’s comments fell flat with many, suggesting that he was out of touch with reality and was attempting to deflect poor planning on his part. Recently, the CFO of Ryanair noted on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today show that (referring to the airports), “They had one job to do, and that was to make sure they had sufficient handlers and security staff. It is incumbent on the airports to get their planning better next year.”
However, it’s airlines that are typically responsible for hiring ground crew and there is plenty of blame to go around for the frustrating travel experiences experienced by many this summer. So frustrating, in fact, that the airport has capped daily passengers at 100,00 through the end of the summer in a bid to reduce some of the chaos.