Airlines have asked the Spanish interior ministry to intervene and help speed up passport control at Palma’s Son San Joan airport. They are responding to a never-ending flood of complaints from passengers about the long queues they have to endure to get through passport control.
Spanish airports authority Aena yesterday recognised that there is a problem and said that non-Schengen passengers, the vast majority of whom are from the United Kingdom, are having to wait at least half an hour to get through passport control.
However, in reality, according to holidaymakers and residents who have contacted the Bulletin over the past few weeks, the wait can be much longer and the problem is doing little for Majorca’s image.
Aena said that it has increased the number of client support and care staff but the number of National Police officers on passport duty is not within its jurisdiction. This is why the airlines have turned to the interior ministry. It is responsible and can give the order that more officers are on duty and that passport control is speeded up. Majorca is now coming towards its very peak with school holidays in the UK.
The problem, apart from a lack of police, is that under European Union security laws, passports have to scanned. Passengers can no longer be waved through after simply wafting their opened passports at the official.
But it is not just the passport congestion that has been the target of complaints this summer. Most flights to and from the UK are handled by the old terminal A, and ‘terminal Briton’ is apparently in a mess compared to the rest of the airport, according to readers who have contacted the paper. It has broken facilities and a lack of services.
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