Irish holidaymakers facing delays amid passport controls chaos

Irish holidaymakers facing delays amid passport controls chaos

Time-consuming immigration controls and a shortage of border staff are being blamed for long delays at European airports for thousands of British holidaymakers.

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He added: "It is passengers and consumers - many of whom are from the United Kingdom - who are suffering as a effect".

The problems are set to continue throughout the summer holiday season, delaying tourists travelling in and out of popular destination airports including Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris-Orly, Milan and Brussels.

Lord Callanan said he would urge his counterparts to "do all they can to reduce queues and allow travellers to get on with their holidays".

The Schengen region is the border-free area that takes up most of mainland Europe but for European passengers who arrive into the region, such as from the United Kingdom and Ireland, these new regulations are being put into practice.

Airlines UK, an industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said it had warned the Government about the new checks in May.

"At some airports, flight delays have increased by 300 per cent compared to past year".

"This Sunday is set to be the busiest day of the weekend with over 104,000 passengers expected to arrive and depart through both terminals", the spokesman added.

A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert said passengers had been left "devastated". The six-month period to put the enhanced checks in place ends on October 7.

It means that rather than being waved through by security staff and doing quick checks, travellers from affected countries will now have to have their passport checked and scanned doubling the time it takes to pass through the borders causing long delays.

"But independent travellers will need to check the situation with their airlines and, where necessary, ensure they factor these longer queuing times into their travel plans when flying in and out of the airport".

The scope and duration of such a temporary reintroduction of border control at the internal borders is limited in time and should be restricted to the bare minimum needed to respond to the threat in question.

The European Commission has defended the changes, spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said: "More checks can lead to more delays and that is the price of security". Phil Davis, whose flight home from Frankfurt yesterday was delayed by 90 minutes, said the airport only had one security lane open to process a large number of worldwide flights.

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