Britons face three-hour ‘nightmare’ queues upon arrival at Mallorca airport
Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are particularly difficult for queues at Palma de Mallorca airport in Spain, which have been blamed on a lack of police at passport control
British holidaymakers caught in the chaos at UK airports also face long queues when they land for holidays in Spain.
Weary tourists arriving at Palma de Mallorca airport take an average of nearly three hours after landing to reach waiting coaches to take them to their hotels, it is claimed.
The problems have been blamed mainly on a lack of police at passport control, particularly on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when most flights bringing package holidaymakers land in Mallorca.
Long delays at passport control affect the entire system, resulting in people arriving at their hotels much later than expected.
Analysts have predicted the situation, attributed mainly to staff shortages, will worsen towards the weekend as more than 10,000 flights are expected to leave the UK between Thursday and Sunday.
Reports in Spain today said around 180 passengers on a Ryanair flight from Manchester to Alicante had to wait nearly three hours in a hallway for the shuttle to take them to their plane after passing through their gate .
Costa Blanca newspaper Diario Informacion said the passengers received no explanation from the airline and were given no food or water while they waited.
On social media, reviews of the airport are mixed, with some people claiming they got through passport control on the island in just 15 minutes.
Others are less positive.
A Briton said: “He flew to Mallorca from LBA last night, from baggage check to security took about 15 minutes!
“Palma airport, on the other hand, was a nightmare. An hour and a half to get through passport control! It’s like it shows everywhere!”
Representatives of the Federation of Transport Companies of the Balearic Islands met on Monday with the delegate of the central government of the region, Aina Calvo, to seek solutions.
FEBT director Salvador Servera said: “The government delegate said that the problems will ease in June with the arrival of more police, but it is vital that this happens because the whole summer season is stakes.”
Earlier this month, the SUP police union demanded the deployment of more officers at Palma airport after complaining of “long delays” at passport control.
Javier Gandara, president of the Association of Airlines in Spain, also called queues at airports in Palma and other Spanish holiday destinations “undesirable” and said he feared they leave visitors with a “bad image” of the country unless the situation improves.
He also called on Spain to consider following the example of Portugal, which in April began fast-tracking British travelers through its airports and allowing Britons to avoid long queues when entering the country.
Portugal’s neighbour, traditionally the favorite overseas holiday destination for British tourists, has so far shown no intention of changing its procedures to suit Lisbon.
Concerns about the misery facing British tourists when they reach their sunny destination have been raised as mid-term holidaymakers queued for hours and slept on terminal floors as they tried to leave Britain yesterday.
The flight is believed to have left Manchester more than three and a half hours late just after 10pm yesterday/Monday.
A passenger from Benidorm on the flight full of British families heading to Spain for a mid-term holiday, told the Costa Blanca newspaper before boarding: “They crushed us like sardines on the stairs in the tunnel leading to the track.”