Guidelines for passengers have been issued as Manchester airport gears up for an additional 100,000 passengers over the festive season.

A total of 1.56 million people are expected to use the UK’s third largest gateway between today (Friday) and January 6.

December 21 will see the Northern hub handle the most passengers, with 79,300 due to depart or arrive at its three terminals.

A 7% rise in total numbers over last year is projected over the festive period the airport, amounting to an additional 100,000 passengers.

Top Christmas destinations include Dubai, Dublin, Amsterdam, Tenerife and Paris.

But passengers are being warned of potential ground transport disruption and reminded of hand baggage rules and restrictions.

The airport is urging travellers to keep a close eye on timetables and plan their journeys accordingly following a higher than usual number of delays and cancellations to connecting rail services in recent months.

Customer services and security director Fiona Wright said: “As we edge closer to Christmas and new year we want to ensure each and every one of our passengers has the best experience and start to their trip, while ensuring their safety and security.

“Our colleagues are committed to ensuring passengers get away seamlessly, which is why we are issuing this advice today to make as many passengers’ journeys as easy as possible whether they are jetting off to Benidorm, Beijing or Barbados.”

“When it comes to what you can and can’t pack in your hand luggage, the rules are exactly the same at Christmas as they are for the rest of the year.

“However, at this festive time of year passengers often travel with gifts of more unusual items, which unwittingly do not comply with the rules. If in doubt, check with your airline first and put it in your suitcase for the hold, rather than your hand luggage.

“Safety and security is always our number one priority, so to help passengers avoid having Christmas treats confiscated and to prevent queues, we’re just reiterating how everyone can help us to help them.”