Travel chaos isn’t just in the UK as Amsterdam and Majorca also hit by queues
Brits jetting off to European holiday hotspots are having wildly different experiences when they touch down, with mammoth waits and breezy trips through passport control both on the cards.
Where and when you’re heading abroad this summer can hugely impact whether you’ll find yourself het up and in a long queue for passport control, of breezing through arrivals towards the beach.
Sadly for those who’ve battled through monster waits at UK airports such as Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Gatwick, the chaos is not restricted to our shores.
In Spain, weary tourists arriving at Palma de Majorca Airport are taking an average of nearly three hours after landing to reach the coaches waiting to take them to their hotels.
The problems have been blamed mainly on a lack of police at passport control, especially on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays when most of the flights bringing in package holidaymakers land in Majorca.
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airporthas also had issues funnelling people through, particularly those with no EU passports.
Frustrated traveller Joe Haslam wrote: “Arrived into Madrid Airport at the same time as a number of UK flights.
Diario de Mallorca)
“Queues bigger than I’ve ever seen unless you have a EU Passport. Then you need a vaccination certificate or have to take a test/fill in a form. Add language difficulties and it’s not a great start to any holiday.”
Dr Anne Murphy added: “Husband was 1.5 hours waiting in the non-EU-entry queue in Madrid airport . Used to be straight through.
The situation seems to be much better at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, where there have been no complaints of queues and many positive reviews of the organisation.
Rich James wrote: ” Barcelona airport, not waiting for more than 10 minutes. Slick operation and well planned out.
“Arrive back in Manchester and it looks like around an hour queue to get through border control. Quite possibly the worst big airport in the world.”
In the Netherlands’ major travel hub Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam has proved a difficult place to move through this half-term.
Queues stretched from outside the building through to security yesterday with the airport blaming ‘staff shortages’ for the delays.
Passengers said they waited for around two hours outside – and then spent up to a further hour in various lines inside the terminal.
Many ended up missing their flights back to the UK due to the waits, although arriving at the airport seems to be a much smoother process.
France’s major airports have been largely unimpacted in recent weeks, with the majority of reviews being overwhelmingly positive.
Chris Denning wrote: “Charles de Gaulle airport: 15 mins breeze through security. CHILLED.”
In Germany Brits have complained of getting stuck in long waits for non-EU passport gates, with issues reported at Munich and Frankfurt airports.
James Savage wrote: “Frankfurt airport in total meltdown today. Epic queues at service desks as thousands miss connections. Chaos as staff shortages mean gates can’t operate. What a mess.”
In Italian travel hub Pisa – which serves much of the north of the country and Tuscany – the issues seem to revolve around budget airlines cancelling services, rather than passport and security delays.
Columnist Sarah Vine complained on Monday: “Pisa airport has to rank as the worst I have ever had the misfortune to be delayed at.
“Nothing to eat, nowhere to sit. Duty free open, of course, so they can squeeze a few more euros out of us. Looks like it’s fags and Toblerone for dinner.”
Martin Daniels added: “I’ve been here for 13 hours, Ryanair flight cancelled so booked with Jet2.
“Now that is delayed 4.5 hours. Can’t access VIP lounge until I’ve checked my bags in. Totally unacceptable.”
Milan Airport has attracted comparatively positive reviews.
Max O’Caladh reported that the airport was “packed to the rafters” and yet he still managed to “clear security in less than 10 minutes.”
Brits travelling to Dublin are likely to experience long waits and heightened blood pressure this week.
An influx of travellers over half term has overwhelmed the airport, causing massive queues of people to snake outside the terminal.
Giving the airport the lowest rating possible, one visitor wrote: “70 passengers like my companion and I could not even make our flight because of the catastrophic organisation and the lack of staff at the airport.
“We had to sleep on the floor without being offered survival blankets or even hot drinks. A shame.”
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