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01 August 2017

Brits among 1,000 to miss their flights out of Barcelona due to industrial action while FOUR HOUR queues across European airports cause chaos

BRITS on holiday are among 1,000 passengers to miss flights at Barcelona airport due to industrial action.

This comes as countless others are being forced to wait for up to FOUR hours at European airports in sweltering temperatures due to tougher border controls.

Twitter / @ Evallory

Huge queues at Barcelona airport caused travel chaos for people trying to get in and out of the popular holiday destination[/caption]

Passenger Nicki Gillon took this picture of the massive queue at Palma Airport
Passenger Nicki Gillon took this picture of the massive queue at Palma Airport
Nicki Gillon/Twitter
Holidaymakers in a massive queue at Palma airport

Aceta, the association of Spanish air transport companies, said some airlines had to delay flights because many of their passengers could not board on time.

The firm said since July 24 around 1,000 passengers had not made their flights.

Pictures on social media in recent days have shown long lines of passengers in crowded terminals.

A worker for airport operator Aena said some people had reported having to wait up to two hours in a queue.

The spokeswoman said: “I am aware that some people have missed flights, because they have called me about it. The queues are long in both terminals.

“It has been this way for the last week. They [security] have an official strike starting on Friday so it will continue I think.”

She advised people who may be travelling back to the UK from Barcelona to arrive “at least three hours early” to give themselves enough time to get through security.

Popular destination airports are seeing long delays as entry rules are tightened, reports the Times.

People have been reportedly told to expect queues for hundreds of metres in popular airports such as Paris and Madrid.

The checks are for people entering and leaving – meaning those coming from the UK and then returning to Britain will struggle for a quick airport experience.

The problem is being caused by time-consuming border checks on travellers – which were introduced after European terror attacks – and is being made worse by a shortage of border officials, according to airline insiders.

Tourists heading to major airports such as Paris, Madrid, Palma, Lisbon, Milan and Brussels are urged to prepare for lengthy waits upon arrival and again at departure.

One unlucky traveller was Nicki Gillon from Manchester, who witnessed people fainting at Majorca’s Palma Airport because of a long wait in stifling temperatures.

The 36-year-old stylist said: “It was insane.”

Stylist Nicki Gillon often travels to Majorca for work and endured hours in a line at immigration
Stylist Nicki Gillon often travels to Majorca for work and endured hours in a line at immigration
Nicki Gillon/Twitter

She added: “There were around 2,000 people waiting to go through immigration.

“People were collapsing, there was no air conditioning in the tunnel.

“It was just crazy.”

Airport sources told The Times the chaos has been sparked by the introduction of new EU rules tightening-up controls in the Schengen area – the border free zone within Europe.

SPAIN STRIKES ADD TO BRIT TRAVEL WOES

Security staff at Barcelona airport took industrial action today – causing long queues and missed flights.

Staff at El Prat airport were working to rule and deliberately taking the maximum of ten minutes to pass each passenger through security.

The industrial action during peak holiday season has caused around 1,000 people to miss flights at the airport in the past few days, airline bosses said.

Around 350 staff from the private firm Eulen Seguridad work at the airport controlling queues, operating scanners and searching passengers.

They want increased staffing levels and improved working conditions, saying they are stressed and work up to 16 hours a day.

Mediation between the workers and their bosses at Eulen, at the Catalonia Labour Tribunal, broke down yesterday.

Spanish media reported the staff are taking unofficial action including delaying passengers for ten minutes each as they pass through security.

And increased action, including short hour-long strikes at key points of the day, are expected to begin on Friday.

A spokesman for the Spanish airlines association Aceta said the action was “causing delays at security controls that are causing some companies to delay flights so they can wait for passengers stuck in queues.”

The UK is outside the zone, so Brits face extra entry and exit checks alongside travellers from other non-Schengen countries, and each passenger must wait for their details to be checked against a series of databases to check for any security concerns.


Have you been affected by the new border controls? Please call Sam Webb on 020 7782 4324 or email sam.webb@thesun.co.uk


Thousands forced to queue for hours at Palma Airport on busy Easter weekend


The Association of British Travel Agents said that it was “aware that new, stricter passport checks are resulting in longer queues at some airports”.

In a statement, it added: “Tour operators will ensure that customers get to the airport in plenty of time so that they are not in danger of missing their flights.

“However, independent travellers will need to check the situation with their airlines and, where necessary, ensure they factor these longer queuing times into their travel plans when flying in and out of the airport.”

But many travellers said they were unaware of the long queues and the extra time needed to get through some airports.

Some even said they had missed their flights due to being in line for more than 90 minutes to simply get through border control.


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