Published: Thu, August 03, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Airline queues 'longer than flights' at some destinations

Airline queues 'longer than flights' at some destinations

If you've experienced delays at European airports, we'd like you to share your experience with us.

Passengers arriving at some of Europe's busiest holiday airports, including Palma in Majorca, have had to endure long waits at immigration for both arriving and departing flights, with widespread reports of missed departures.

Airlines For Europe, a group which represents carriers including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways' owner IAG, said that compared to previous year some delays had increased by 300 per cent and that some passengers had missed flights.

One Briton tweeted on Tuesday: "22 people were not allowed on flight home from Barcelona airport yesterday afternoon".

The group added that more stringent security and immigration checks are expected to be implemented at other European airports, which means delays could become more widespread. Plane left most (sic) empty.

"All EU member states wanted to have the current rules".

Member states do have discretion to apply more targeted checks if they affect traffic flows, but only until 7 October 2017.

These were subsequently approved by the planning authorities, he said.

This has taken up to two minutes per passenger which has led to delays. Hitherto, it was not uncommon for United Kingdom travellers to simply wave their passports at bored officials in glass boxes.

The change means the details of passengers from non-Schengen countries, such as the United Kingdom, are run through databases to alert authorities if they are known to pose a threat. It also goes through Interpol's list of stolen and lost travel documents (SLTD).

The union has apologised to the public for alleged delays at Dublin Airport and claimed the shopping mall is more important to management than its runways.

Each traveller entering or leaving a Schengen area country is being checked against different databases to make sure they do not pose a security threat.

People travelling from Barcelona to the United Kingdom should arrive at the airport "at least three hours early", she said.

The Government said it was liaising with countries where the worst delays were occurring.

Images of huge queues at passport controls across Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Holland have been doing the rounds on social media.

Brussels now require passport control to carry out exit and entry checks on tourists from non-Schengen countries, which includes Britain.

The Schengen area consists of 26 nations, including 22 of the 28 European Union members (excluding the UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Croatia), along with non-EU members Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

A spokeswoman for the airport's operator AENA said the problems had started around a week ago.

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