Holidaymakers face massive airport queues amid tougher EU border security checks

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Thousands of British holidaymakers are facing hours of extra-long security queues because of tougher EU border checks.

Some passengers have missed their flights or been forced to queue for up to four hours while leaving or arriving for their holiday, Europe’s largest airline association has warned.

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.

Photos taken in recent days show queues of weary travellers snaking around the airport.

Vanessa Raw shared a picture online of a queue in Spain. She wrote: “Mayhem at Barcelona airport, security queue stretching round whole airport and out exit!”

James Davies was stuck in a queue at Nice airport last week. He wrote on Twitter: “Border queue at Nice airport… Haven’t moved in 20 minutes and my flight takes off in 35. Help!”

Airlines for Europe, the Brussels-based airline association made up of carriers including Ryanair, easyJet and Air France KLM, blamed the long queues on EU border controls which are “significantly understaffed to comply with tightened immigration checks”.

European regulations brought in tightened security checks following the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks.

Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E, said: “Member states need 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. 

“A4E has stressed the disproportionate waiting times and disrupted flow of traffic at external borders with the European Commission and calls for a swift solution on behalf of European passengers and airlines.

“Especially during the peak season of the year, travellers face long lines and can’t get on their flights.”

He added: “At some airports, flight delays have increased by 300 per cent compared to last year — member states must take the responsibility for this.”

EU border staff are required to check passenger details against special databases recording stolen or lost travel documents.

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