Tuesday, 1 August 2017

'They Are Punishing British Residents': Furious UK Holidaymakers Are forced to Queue For Up To Fours Hours At Main European Airports

EU border checks leave UK tourists queuing for four hours
British holidaymakers have been enduring weeks of chaos at airports across Europe with queues up to four hours long after tougher border controls were imposed by the EU - it emerged today. Airports popular with UK tourists have seen queues stretching hundreds of yards as the stricter checks are imposed on entry and exit to the European 'Schengen' area. Some airports have reported long delays to planes taking off while crews wait for passengers to pass the border, with other travellers who have been left unaware of the delays are missing their flights while standing in line. Palma airport in Majorca (pictured), which is inundated with British families this month after the start of the school holidays, is one of the worst hit, with tourists fainting in hot temperatures in queues.

On July 9, one holidaymaker posted this picture on Twitter telling British Airways: 'Palma Airport passport control is complete chaos'
Mr Aston was trying to get on an Easyjet flight to Belfast with his with partner, mother-in-law and children aged three, six and 12.
He waited around half an hour to get through controls, and added: 'It definitely looked as they were on a go slow.'
Jessica Williams was stuck at Palma Airport for more than two hours, with customers given no information as to what was going on. 
Ms Williams told MailOnline: 'The only thing we got told was there was a 'situation' and that our flights wouldn't leave without us. 
'We thought it was something to do with terrorism as they wouldn't tell us what was happening. Everyone was getting very annoyed as the air con wasn't on either.' 

Nicki Gillon from Manchester told The Sun that people were fainting in the stifling temperatures in the hour-long queue she endured at the same airport last month.
Paul Bower had to wait 90 minutes at Bergerac Airport after flying in from Bristol last Thursday. For much of that time, he and other passengers were standing on the tarmac next to a runway beneath a marquee.
He said: 'There were three booths open but only one was manned. It was definitely taking longer to check each passport.'
Dr Michael Bond said he had a similar experience during a recent trip to Bastia on Corsica, where he waited for an hour on the tarmac to get through passport control.
Dr Bond said: 'We used to zoom through passport control after getting off the aircraft. Not this time. The queue stretched from the tarmac where we landed. It was six people wide and there were two people manning the passport control.'
The issue is also thought to have affected motorists using Dover to Calais ferries. Nigel Rumfitt had to wait an hour to get through controls at the Port of Calais yesterday. 
Furious: Tourists have taken to Twitter to complain about long waits at European airports
Furious: Tourists have taken to Twitter to complain about long waits at European airports

Mr Rumfitt said: 'The port was in chaos with a massive traffic jam at the entrance to the port and about ten lines of traffic funnelling into two lines to get through. We were early but it took an hour and we nearly missed our boat.
'There was no explanation of what was happening but this looks like a deliberate attempt to delay travellers to the UK. The officer to whom I complained blamed staff shortages.' 

The problems follow an EU clampdown on people of all nationalities entering or leaving the Schengen zone, the border-free area which operates on the continent.  
In the wake of terror attacks, it is understood passengers now have to be checked against a security database.
The changes mean waiting times have soared compared to previous summers, when British holidaymakers were waved through after officials checked the photo page of their passports. 

Airlines for Europe (A4E), which represents airlines including British Airways and easyJet, said that some EU countries had not staffed their passport control areas to take the new rules into account - further exacerbating the delays. 

British tourists have complained of massive delays on Twitter, with one traveller fuming: ' @Malaga__Airport I've been to many airports. Never have I had to stand in queue this long for passport control #appalling'. 
Another at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, wrote: 'Amsterdam airport is a disaster again today. Schengen-passport control queue extends beyond E-gates 4hrs waiting time'. 
Some airports in Europe still have slow computer systems, increasing the delays, The Times reported today. 

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