Spanish holiday airport services in’danger of collapse’ unless passport control issue tackled

Action to end airport chaos blighting one of the Mediterranean’s most popular resorts has been demanded to avoid services’collapsing.’ Passengers landing at Palma de Mallorca airport from the UK have reported stressful queues and long waits to get through passport control and lengthy flight delays for arrivals and departures.

There have been calls for more National Police officers to be deployed to help ease delays and process passport queues more quickly as peak summer season arrives. The Balearic islands hotel federation has already demanded that Majorca’s Operation Summer, designed to cater for the surge in holidaymakers, begins this month instead of waiting until July 1.

Delays are also causing problems for transport operators, while tour operators are also calling for urgent solutions to deal with issues facing UK visitors. Spain’s airport authority Aena has pledged 500 more officers to be deployed from this Friday (June 20), with 50 heading to Palma and others scheduled to help at holiday airports, such as Ibiza, Alicante, Malaga, Valencia, Menorca, Ibiza, Tenerife South, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria.

The Balearic Islands police union warned that queues are only going to get worse. A spokesperson warned Palma airport could be close to collapse unless more officers were taken on quickly.

The spokesperson said: “During the pandemic, as there were fewer flights and passengers it wasn’t a problem, but now we are faced with a great summer season but with few officers.”

It follows an increasing number of complaints from holidaymakers describing “carnage” at Palma Airport with accusations of just three officers on duty to handle hundreds of UK arrivals while nearby automatic passport machines remain unused.

One passenger arriving in Majorca from Bristol complained it took 55 minutes to navigate passport control delays. Majorca Daily Bulletin : “Arriving at Palma we were met by a bus to take us to the airport building. From then on we began to see why the word’carnage’ was being used.

“Hundreds and hundreds of people not understanding what they were queuing for. Many, who thought it was to collect baggage, marched to the front of the queue. They were not collecting baggage and thought the rules did not apply to them.

“The queue was for passport control just got longer and longer and squeezing the crowd through a three option exit was the problem. Tempers and tiredness were obvious not to mention crying children and overheating.”

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