A family of six were left stranded overnight at Malaga Airport, Spain, after extraordinarily long queues caused them to miss their flight.
Passengers around Europe reported facing huge delays because of a newly-tightened EU regulation on border checks, despite arriving at the airport three hours before departure time.
Thousands of flights in Europe have recently been delayed due to EU border controls being “significantly understaffed” to comply with tightened immigration checks, Airlines For Europe (A4E) stated.
A new EU regulation was implemented in March of this year which outlines the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders.
This has led to immigration queues lasting up to four hours, and queues of up to 30 minutes just for the bag-drop area, security and passport control, leading some passengers to miss their flights.
In a recent statement, A4E said: “During this busy summer travel season, airline travellers have become victims of the disproportionate impact that the implementation of a new EU Regulation is having on the flow of traffic at European airports.”
Managing director of A4E Thomas Reynaert said that member states should take necessary measures to prevent such disruptions and deploy appropriate staff and resources in sufficient numbers to carry out the requested checks: “Especially during the peak season, travellers face lines and can’t get on their flights,” Reynaert said.
The family claimed they were faced with monster queues after being placed into a special family queue, followed by passport control.
All six family members were forced to push in to the front for fear they would miss their flight all together, but after making it to the gate just ten minutes before the flight was due to take off, they were told by Ryanair staff they would not be permitted to board the flight.
With no other options left, the family were forced to check into a hotel that night and book seats on a flight home the next day, which came to a total of €1000, which they were not reimbursed for by Ryanair.
The European Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva said: “This is about the security of our citizens. All EU member states wanted the current rules. They asked for them specifically.
“More checks can lead to more delays, and that is the price for security. We cannot have on the one hand a joint request from member states to have more checks and controls, to increase security, and the same time have complaints about longer waiting periods.”
Meanwhile, Ryanair is advising all customers to arrive in plenty of time for their flights: “It is every customer’s responsibility to ensure that they do so,” a statement from the airline said.
“Our operations across the network are running as normal and we continue to advise customers to arrive at least three hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight.”
But, what are your thoughts on today’s news? Have you ever experienced delays as bad as this? What would you do if you missed your flight due to queues? Leave us your comments…
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