Photos posted online by angry passengers show thousands of travellers trapped in massive queues inside the terminal, with one Brit calling the scene “insane”
Thousands of British tourists are facing travel chaos at a Spanish holiday hotspot due to frustrating two-hour queues at passport control.
Many Brits missed flights home from Palma airport in Majorca due to the “chaotic situation” at the weekend and there are fears the situation will get even worse.
Photos posted online by angry passengers show thousands of travellers trapped in massive queues inside the terminal, with one Brit calling the scene “insane”.
Airlines caught up in the mess have begged Spain’s government to intervene and help passengers get through security queues faster so they aren’t left behind.
Palma is Spain’s third busiest airport with 5.3m Brits passing through last year and record numbers expected this summer.
The problem is due to a lack of police at passport control booths and the the high volume of UK-bound flights in the early morning and evening, local media reported.
British tour operators have blamed the Spanish government for failing to provide sufficient numbers of police at the airport.
Airlines have jointly asked the Spanish Transport Ministry and Interior Ministry to improve the flow of passengers through passport control.
The airlines, represented by the Association of Airlines and the Association of Spanish Air Transport companies, told Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido: “The situation may get worse if measures are not taken, given the number of passengers expected over the coming summer.”
Current passport controls are causing “delays and even missed connections, with consequential damage to passengers and airlines, who have been obliged to leave passengers behind on a daily basis so as not to affect their punctuality in too negative a manner,” the airlines said.
AENA, the Spanish airports authority, recognised that there had been “problems in passport control” over the weekend but said: “It’s a delicate question which is complicated to solve.”
An ANEA spokesman told local newspaper Ultima Hora: “More reinforcements are needed because without them it will be difficult to solve the problem when there are several flights heading to the United Kingdom and the frontier controls must be carried out.”
Budget carriers easyJet, Ryanair, Monarch and Jet2 and tour operators Thomas Cook and Thomson are among those flying to and from Palma airport.
The Spanish police union SUP said: “We have to make an official complaint because it was previously known that this problem would occur.
“In order to make the frontier controls work properly we need another 20 police officers.”
Similar problems occurred at the airport over Easter – with queues so bad some passengers fainted in the heat.
Madrid’s representative in the Balearic islands, Maria Salom, said strict new frontier controls have slowed up passport controls.
Some 26m passengers passed through Palma airport last year – making it Spain’s third busiest behind Barajas airport in Madrid and El Prat airport in Barcelona.