I think that much of this type of problem can be put down to time of day. We recently flew from Manchester at 7.00am. We had checked in (auto machine) and passed through security in less than 20 minutes.
Similarly on the return from Palma, we deliberately arrived at the Airport some hours early and joined a check in queue with only four people in it. Got through the security bit in another fifteen minutes, and then had a three hour wait, but it was probably worth it.
The next day some friends of ours returned from Palma mid-afternoon. They could not even get through the main door to the Airport, such was the queue. It apparantly took an hour and a half to check in, and then straight to the plane.