Passengers using major European airports are facing immigration delays of up to four hours due to the introduction of new rules over the peak summer travel season.
Airline association Airlines for Europe (A4E) said that “thousands” of flights have already been delayed because of “understaffed” border controls following the tightening of EU immigration checks within the Schengen zone.
The worst affected airports are in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and Portugal where delays are running up to four hours. Travellers are being told to particularly expect delays at airports in Paris, Madrid, Lisbon and Milan.
Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E, said airline passengers “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”.
“Queuing for up to four hours has been the top record these days; airports like Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris-Orly, Milan or Brussels are producing shameful pictures of devastated passengers in front of immigration booths, in lines stretching hundreds of metres,” added Reynaert.
“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.”