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Easter international Melbourne Airport strike eggscruciating for passengers

MELBOURNE AIRPORT STRIKE UPDATE:

In a statement released by Melbourne Airport today:

Melbourne Airport is pleased that CPSU members of Border Force have agreed to cancel their industrial action, which would have seen strikes at all major Australian airports over the busy Easter long weekend.

The decision has been made in response to terrorist attacks in Brussels overnight.

Melbourne Airport remains in close and regular contact with relevant security agencies. We can confirm that at this point, there is no proposed increase to the security threat level or security measures for Australian airports.

Our thoughts are with our colleagues at Brussels Airport, the families and victims of these attacks, and the wider Belgian community.

_________________________________________________________________

Melbourne International airline passengers can expect long delays this Easter, as Customs and Immigration officers strike for 24 hours.

Melbourne International Airport strikes planned   Melbourne International Airport strikes planned                                 Photo on Visualhunt

From Wednesday a three-hour stoppage is planned for Melbourne International Airport, expanding to all airports and cruise terminals on Thursday as Immigration and Border Protection staff walk off the job, just as busy holiday travel makers are heading overseas for Easter.

Thursday will see further action with a planned 24-hour stoppage.

It has been reported that plans are underway for rolling airport stoppages over the Easter school holidays and beyond. The stoppages are planned to be six to eight hours at a time until April 1 which is expected to cause significant delays for people travelling to and from Melbourne’s international airport.

Our Tips

  • Travel Insurance – Check that you have sufficient coverage for such circumstances as strikes
  • Passport – ensure it is current and with at least 6-months validity
  • Arrive earlier than you think! – Normally it is a requirement to be at the airport 3 hours prior to departure for international flights, but the last time the industrial action took place, with travellers took several hours to get through Customs!
  • Traffic – Tullamarine widening works are currently increasing travel time to and from the airport over the West Gate and Bolte Bridge(s) by 20-30minutes, adding holiday traffic to the mix and terminal chaos, we can only recommend to air on the side of caution and pack the car the night before.
  • ParkingPre-Book your parking! The last thing you need to worry about is where to park your car.  Most car parks are already at capacity with the Easter Holidays, so ensure you have secured your space and you know where you are going. Our secure undercover Melbourne airport parking facility is ideal for overseas travellers. Why face the hassle of parking at Melbourne airport when our fast, free shuttle buses will have you at the terminal in minutes.

We have the essential pre-holiday checklists available and other tips for a hassle free getaway here.

What they Say

The Community and Public Sector Union’s national secretary, Nadine Flood said delays for travellers were “unfortunate” as public servants protest over a two-year wage freeze.

A spokesperson for Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, who is also responsible for public sector workers, said the industrial action would harm the public.

The spokesperson said, “instead of resorting to industrial action the CPSU would better serve the interests of their members if they were to genuinely negotiate in good faith.”

“As with previous action at airports, we would advise passengers to contact their airline for information on whether they will be affected and allow extra time when departing and arriving on international flights,” said Ms Flood.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection posted a statement on its website urging travellers to “plan for potential delays”.

“The Department is working closely the stakeholders to minimise the impact on the travelling public, cargo and mail operations,” said the statement.

“We are also ensuring appropriate contingencies are in place for visa and citizenship services.”

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