Meddling Brussels! Tough new EU border checks leave UK holidaymakers stranded for HOURS

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Meddling Brussels! Tough new EU border checks leave UK holidaymakers stranded for HOURS

Meddling Brussels! Tough new EU border checks leave UK holidaymakers stranded for HOURS
TOUGHER EU passport checks introduced by Brussels have left UK holidaymakers stranded for up to fours hours at Europe’s main airports.
By Thomas Hunt
PUBLISHED: 02:01, Tue, Aug 1, 2017 | UPDATED: 12:15, Tue, Aug 1, 2017

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Airlines are blaming a new EU regulation on passport checks for delaying thousands of flights.

The new rules, which started this summer, require each passenger from outside the Schengen area (covering most EU countries) to have their arrival and departure recorded.

Previously British passengers were often waved through with just a cursory glance at the passport.

Airport chaosGETTY
Holidaymakers have reported being stranded for up to four hours at European airports
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Passengers have taken to social media to warn of huge queues devastating holidays.

One traveller at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, described it as a “disaster again today”, adding: “Schengen-passport control queue extends beyond E-gates 4hrs waiting time.”

Another in Malaga added: “I’ve been to many airports. Never have I had to stand in queue this long for passport control #appalling.”

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Airlines for Europe (A4E), which represents firms including British Airways and easyJet, said that some EU countries had not staffed their passport control areas correctly – leading to long delays.

Thomas Reynaert, A4E’s managing director, said that airlines had written to the EU urging it to require member states to “take all necessary measures now to prevent such disruptions and deploy appropriate staff and resources in sufficient numbers to carry out the requested checks”.

He told The Times: “During the peak season of the year, travellers face long lines and can’t get on their flights.

“Airports like Madrid, Palma, Lisbon, Lyons, Paris Orly, Milan or Brussels are producing shameful pictures of devastated passengers in front of immigration booths, in lines stretching hundreds of metres.”

Mr Reynaert said some flight delays had increased by 300 per cent compared with last year, adding that EU members “must take the responsibility for this”.

Passengers arriving at Palma in Mallorca had to queue for 90 minutes on Sunday.

Thomas Reynaert (Centre)GETTY
Thomas Reynaert said airlines had written to the EU about the changes

BrusselsGETTY
Some flight delays had reportedly increased by 300 per cent compared with last year

The aviation analyst Laurie Price warned flying could get even more stressful after the UK leaves the EU

He told The Independent: “If we are experiencing problems now, what is going to happen post-Brexit when more rigorous immigration controls and procedures are brought in?

“They will be grafted into already congested terminals. It can only worsen service standards, increase queues and passenger frustration with more frayed tempers.”
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