Brits in cramped queues at passport control across Europe 

Families desperate to get to their hotels had to wait in cramped queues for an hour at Palma airport yesterday.

The delays at passport control were caused by a serious shortage of border guards, with just four grim-faced officers processing the arrivals of hundreds of passengers last night.

After being handed a passport, the Spanish border guards spent up to five minutes tapping into a computer before gesturing families through without so much as a smile or an apology.

Hundreds of British holidaymakers have endured lengthy waits at Palma airport, as seen here on July 29

Hundreds of British holidaymakers have endured lengthy waits at Palma airport, as seen here on July 29

This was the scene in Palma, Majorca last month, with further delays expected during the summer holidays

This was the scene in Palma, Majorca last month, with further delays expected during the summer holidays

After their packed – and delayed – Thomson flight from Bristol landed, the chatter of excited children faded to groans as the scale of the waiting time became clear. Some slumped on the floor and started asking their parents when they’d be in their hotels, only moving forward every five minutes.

As she arrived at the back of the queue, Linda Parsons, 39, of Bristol, quipped: ‘Well that’s it, we’re here for the night.’

One pensioner, who asked not to be named, told the Daily Mail she thought the cramped, bottle-neck queue could be dangerous.

‘I’m not quite comfortable here, I’ve got to be honest,’ the lady, in her eighties, said. ‘Hopefully we get through quickly.’

Alison Walters, 40, on holiday with husband Tim, 47, and their two daughters, said: ‘This is ridiculous. But if it prevents terrorism then there’s not much you can say against it.’ 

A Spanish airport steward said the delays were usually ‘three times as bad’. She added: ‘It is always very busy here. Passengers can wait for two hours. They get impatient and criticise us, but when I go to Gatwick I have to wait that long. It’s the way things are everywhere.’

Asked by one passenger how long it would take to get to the baggage reclaim area, a member of cabin crew took a harsh intake of breath as he said: ‘To be honest, it’s pretty bad at the moment because it’s peak season.’

He added: ‘Honestly, it could be anything up from an hour.’

Thousands of beleaguered travellers have been left standing for airports for hours, including one of the worst hit, Palma (pictured two weeks ago)

Thousands of beleaguered travellers have been left standing for airports for hours, including one of the worst hit, Palma (pictured two weeks ago)

Palma airport, pictured when the changes were first brought in, is among those hit by the changes. This was the scene there in June when passengers reportedly missed flights. Spanish officials said the new rules had 'complicated passport control for British tourists'

Palma airport, pictured

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