Published on Friday, July 28, 2017

Airlines describe 'shameful' scenes as passengers face huge delays this summer



Thousands of flights have been delayed across Europe already this summer because border controls are understaffed, according to A4E.

Airports in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and Portugal face immigration queues of up to four hours and delays have increased by 300%, according to A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert.

The delays have been caused because EU border controls are significantly understaffed to comply with tightened immigration checks and some passengers have missed their flights.


Reynaert said: "Especially during the peak season of the year, travellers face long lines and can't get on their flights.

"Queuing for up to four hours has been the top record these days; airports like Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris-Orly, Milan or Brussels are producing shameful pictures of devastated passengers in front of immigration booths, in lines stretching hundreds of metres.

"At some airports, flight delays have increased by 300% compared to last year. Member States must take the responsibility for this,"

He added: "Member States need to take all necessary measures now to prevent such disruptions and deploy appropriate staff and resources in sufficient numbers to carry out the requested checks.

"A4E has stressed the disproportionate waiting times and disrupted flow of traffic at external borders with the European Commission and calls for a swift solution on behalf of European passengers and airlines."

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  • A4E - Reliable source or not?

    Having just passed through Barcelona Airport (5 Aug) and suffered no delays whatsoever through Security nor Passport Control - and an empty Passport Control at Gatwick - I might suggest that this is fake news? 

    By peter connell, Wednesday, August 9, 2017

  • This is the cost of having your cake AND eating it

    @MikePitman Unfortunately, this isn't an EU issue as some EU states, such as the UK, are not parties to the Schengen Agreements. Only in exceptional cases are passports (or ID cards) checked for intra-Schengen flights. The UK Government didn't want to join Schengen, for a variety of reasons, some good, some not so good. As the UK isn't a Schengen member, passports have to be checked on all UK flights arriving into, or leaving from, the Schengen area. The problems could, however, be halved, if Schengen authorities only checked arriving pax, taking the transport records from airline, ferry, train, etc. for departing pax. This should nearly double the immigration staff available for arrivals. Common-sense, perhaps, but that commodity is usually in short supply when bureaucracies are involved.

    By Peter Lewis, Monday, July 31, 2017

  • EU

    Why are departing pax on intra-EC flights even having to show passports?

    By Mike Pitman, Sunday, July 30, 2017

  • Some Airports don't Help!

    My last two flights from Manchester airport have been chaotic which were in March and June due to untrained security personnel. Hate to think what their "security" is doing now in the peak season.

    By Irene Laird, Friday, July 28, 2017

  • Delayed...missed Flight.EU 261

    .Been delayed a few times...last payout was Euro 600. Use it, since after Brexit it might be cut by Mrs May's Bunch of Cowboys...yes..Air transport: Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and (EC) No 1107/2006 Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 has been the cause of numerous disputes and has been clarified in a series of rulings.

    By Terry McManus, Friday, July 28, 2017

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