British holidaymakers warned of long airport delays
August 02, 2017
Britons flying overseas have been warned they face potential delays at a number of EU airports due to the introduction of stringent new passport control checks.
Airlines For Europe (A4E), a body that includes Easyjet, Ryanair and IAG, which owns British Airways, warned that huge delays are occurring as passports from non-Schengen countries, such as Britain, are checked. This means that rather than being waved through, British passport holders are having their documents checked in a process that takes two minutes per person, slowing up progress.
For many holidaymakers it has meant not just long delays, but missed flights.
Managing director of A4E Thomas Reynaert said: "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."
He added that the situation could worsen in the weeks ahead as the new regulations have not yet been fully implemented.
The BBC's Brussels reporter said the problem appeared to have been most acute at small airports that were ill-equipped to deal with the situation, such as Malaga and Palma, while Paris-Orly drafted in extra staff to deal with the situation.
In response to the news, European Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva said the situation was "the price of security," saying all EU member states had agreed to the new rules and have had plenty of time to prepare for their introduction.
Those who miss flights and are therefore delayed in making their trip will benefit from having a good travel insurance policy in place, as this will mean they can be compensated. This may include a larger payout if a trip has to be cancelled altogether because of a delay.
Flight delays can also be caused by unforeseen circumstances, such as staffing problems or severe weather.
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