Thousands of UK travellers could miss flights as airports struggle to cope with new EU border rules and passport checks

Ilinca Tanase
By Ilinca Tanase august 4, 2017 10:31

Thousands of UK travellers could miss flights as airports struggle to cope with new EU border rules and passport checks

British holidaymakers face travel chaos at European airports due to EU security checks. Holidaymakers face airport travel chaos tomorrow on one of the busiest weekends of the year. Express.co.uk: British holidaymakers face travel chaos at European airports due to EU security checks. The Sun: Brit holidaymakers’ airport hell is a ‘warning’ for Brexit and we should create our own UK-only passport queues in response, MP says. 

Passengers flying to European airports have suffered long waits at passport checks since the EU brought in more stringent passport checks on entering and leaving the Schengen area. Holidaymakers trying to return from Europe this weekend have been told to get to airports at least three hours early amid fears of mayhem at passport control. Airline bosses say thousands of UK travellers could miss flights as airports struggle to cope with new EU border rules on one of the busiest weekends of the year.

The chaos has been caused by EU rules that mean travellers from outside the Schengen free movement zone are subject to stricter vetting at passport control. Instead of a few seconds, the process can now take up to ten minutes. Airports have been accused of failing to prepare for the tougher checks by employing more staff to cope with the holiday season influx.

Destinations popular with British travellers have been the worst hit, as the UK is outside the Schengen zone.
Airlines For Europe predicts this weekend will be one of the busiest of the year, with around five million people flying in and out of European airports both tomorrow and on Sunday – double the average daily number.

Palma airport in Majorca is expected to be one of the major flashpoints. Its passport control is expected to have to process a record 190,000 passengers tomorrow, as 1,117 flights pass through.

Express.co.uk: British holidaymakers face travel chaos at European airports due to EU security checks

New EU security checks have left thousands facing queues of up to four hours at European airports. Malaga, Mallorca, Lisbon, Milan, Paris-Orly, Lyon and Brussels have all been hit, leading to long delays in terminals.

Aage Duenhaupt, spokesman for trade association Airlines for Europe, said: “They are expecting one of the record days for the summer because of the changeover, where so many people are going out and so many are also going home.

Travellers now have their details checked through databases which should alert officials if they are known to pose a threat. Brussels ordered the increased security checks in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks in which 142 people were murdered by Islamic State killers.

The Sun: Brit holidaymakers’ airport hell is a ‘warning’ for Brexit and we should create our own UK-only passport queues in response, MP says

TRAVEL chaos for holidaymakers in Europe is just a “warning” for Brexit – and Britain should create a UK-only passport queue in retaliation, an MP has said. Brits have been caught in a passport meltdown this week as airports struggle with tougher new EU border rules.

British Airways and Easyjet have already text passengers urging them to arrive early at airports, while Ryanair has warned travellers to arrive at least three hours before take off.

Some tourists are having to queue for up to four hours at passport control in some European countries. The drama has been caused by new EU rules that ensure travellers from outside the Schengen free movement zone are given strict vetting at passport control.

The Schengen area is the border-free travel zone made up of 26 countries. One Tory MP is now calling for UK-only passport queues – as he said the tougher security checks are just a “warning” over Brexit.

The minister, who hasn’t been named, told The Daily Telegraph: “One wonders if this isn’t just subterfuge from EU member states, if they aren’t just trying to give us a warning that this is something that’s in store for us after Brexit.

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