UK call for improved passport control

UK tour operators say that passport controls for UK holidaymakers at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport are causing “huge queues” every Saturday and that these queues are having a knock-on impact on baggage reclaim and transfer coaches.

The tour operators are wanting an increase in the number of National Police officers in order to speed up passport control and thereby avoid problems for coaches that are waiting for tourists to be transferred to hotels. The coaches are parked for longer than they should be, and this is creating some chaos in the arrivals area parking zone.

The complaints are directed at the Spanish government delegation in the Balearics, as this is the body which has responsibility for provision of police. “We hope that they will take the appropriate measures to expedite passport control,” says one tour operator representative.

On Sunday, when the volume of traffic is lower, it is nevertheless of significant enough volume to cause problems in the arrivals area. 832 planes and some 150,000 passengers are scheduled for this Sunday, with the peak time being between 10am and 12.30pm. Around 300 vehicles – coaches, minibuses, taxis – will be in the arrivals area over this period.

The Aena airports authority is to establish a special procedure to mitigate the problems that occur at the airport at weekends.

The queues for passport control are really nothing new, and travellers’ experiences of passport control will vary according to when they arrive. There are peak times when several arriving flights coincide, and it is this which tends to cause the queues.

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