Once through security, in a record five minutes, the scene was serene – one woman was stretched out Roman-style on a large bench – well there was not much demand for seats. One spot that was packed, however, was the Lion and Antelope pub, where athleisure-clad lads were tucking into their breakfast pints of Stella Artois. As one group cheerily told me, sure, they’d had to set off at 6am to ensure they would make their flight, but really it just meant more time for drinks. On another table, Jaqueline from Crewe had arrived four hours early, but was just thrilled she would be jetting off to Faro. After the trauma of the past two years, people still seem grateful for holidays.
At the more sedate Pork and Pickle cafe, Manchester residents Chris and Rion, who were flying to Cork, could not believe how calm the airport was. Chris, a determined arrive-one-hour-before-departure flyer, had begrudgingly agreed to come three hours early due to queue fears, a decision he was now wryly smiling at. “I’ve flown from this airport thousands of times and I have never seen it so quiet as today,” he said.