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Posted by
27502 posts

The programme has been in place since April. This isn't new news. They have to fill the papers somehow and last weekend was the busiest of the year both in England and France. Always is the weekend after school breaks up for the summer holidays (much later than in North America).

On my trips (by car) to Europe in April and June I saw no change beyond what it has been for a few years. In fact I only showed the outside of my UK passport to the French border officials before being waved through.

I fully expect the same in a couple of weeks for my next trip. The Telegraph which has always been a relatively mild mannered middle of the road paper until recently has recently become very sensationalist. I've even switched off their app notifications because they seem now to cry wolf at everything.

I haven't seen anything about this on either major TV news channels nor in other papers.

Granted, I have been using the Eurotunnel between Calais and Folkestone and not flying. Flying is never any fun any more.

Posted by
3588 posts

Note that the first picture is of checking bags at Schiphol not passport control.

Posted by
18242 posts

I'm not sure I understand. Are these countries taking all this time to check people out (the article talks about missed flights) of Schengen? And it sounds like it is all for flights to the UK. Maybe the UK has something to do with it. They are not happy with how easily refuges can get into the EU. Or is it retaliation for Brexit?

Posted by
1897 posts

Sounds like a routine return to the US via Atlanta

Posted by
4641 posts

Travellers from the USA may at some airports get dumped into the same queues as these British holiday flights, although maybe not that often as paths probably won't cross..

Going to Porto earlier this year two Americans got right to the front of the queue before being directed by staff that the electronic passport machines were for EEA/Swiss passports only. Sent to the back of the other passport queue.

Not that some of the longest lines can be going out rather than coming in, because these weren't designed for the same volume at some airports.

Posted by
631 posts

The chaos is only at certain badly organised airports. Interesting that easyjet, just about most widespread airline in Europe is not flagging any specific problems due to this.

Most british newspapers hate most things foreign (certain Americans will be tolerated.....)

The BBC sometimes feels it's missed something and goes off "half cocked" .

There is a basic fault in all the reporting, because they blame the departure delays on Immigration controls - think about it for a moment!

Posted by
10992 posts

The Ryanair boss is blaming much of the problem on DEPARTURE controls. That's because passengers leaving Schengen must go through exit immigration. No one understands why extra checks are being done with people leaving Schengen but that's what is happening.

Pointless Passport Checks

Posted by
631 posts

Frank missed my earlier point - exit and immigration are opposites!

I've just seen this on the wizzair website, no other warning about any other airport they use

At Barcelona El Prat airport, we are experiencing severe delays at the security screening from 4th of August onwards for an undefined period on every FRIDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY. Therefore we recommend all passengers to arrive at the airport at least 1.5 hour prior to flight departure and allow extra time to proceed through security. Please remember that the gate closure time is 30 minutes before departure time.

One airport, 3 days per week.

Posted by
8439 posts

Perhaps a new term/acronym is needed to cover the entire entry/exit process, and end the nitpicking over the correct technical term(s)

"TBP" --- TransBorderProcessing ?

Or "BorPro"

For the perfectionists out there, when some one asks you for a 'kleenex' do you respond by telling them "Sorry, I have none. We have Acme Brand paper facial tissues", or do you just give them a tissue?

Posted by
12803 posts

This last time going through Border Control upon landing at LHR in May in the morning did take longer compared to morning landings I did a few years back, can't remember if it was more than one hour. I always aim for morning landings. In a way it didn't matter since I was not connecting flights, but it did occur to me that this is taking longer than "usual" as we slowly snaked through.

I never expect Border Control/Immigration to be a breeze, if it is does turn out to be such, then I considered that a pleasant surprise (that has happened a few times) and that I lucked out this time.

Posted by
631 posts

LHR arrivals are not affected by this problem since it's
a) departures
b) Schengen group countries, so not UK.

Flights to UK aren't really covered by the new rules because they already had checks (being non-Schengen) but the new rules are causing the staff to be spread thinner.

Easyjet and BA are warning off some delays at Barcelona (no kidding!), Milan and Lyon this weekend ( who uses Lyon in the summer?)

Posted by
54 posts

One of the articles has a photo of long lines in Amsterdam. Can anyone say if we're likely to be affected? We are transiting AMS on Tuesday afternoon, arriving from the U.S. and going on to a Schengen country. I understand we have to do the immigration passport check in AMS as that's our entry point to the zone. Are these problems likely to affect us, or is that only for people leaving Schengen from AMS? KLM has given us a short, but apparently legal, connecting time and they do have later flights if we miss the connection, so I'm not terribly stressed about it, just curious.

Posted by
631 posts

most of the Britsh newspaper articles are pointless gibberish. They haven't actually worked out what the problem is and many are just trawling Twitter for quotes, and that's never a good idea! And American articles are likely to been copied from British.

The biggest problem is at departure Passport Control. But we get newspaper space fillers featuring unverified quotes about queueing to use the E-passport gates at arrivals. And yes, stock agency photos of people waiting to checkin-in at Schiphol some time in the last few years.

Easyjet, who are a major operator at Schiphol, have issued no specific warning for there when they did warn about Barcelona, Milan and Lyon. And then they updated that to explain that the Barcelona problem is being made much worse because some security staff are on strike at weekends this month - so absolutely no guide to what may be happening anywhere else..

Schiphol themselves have no warnings about delays, although they do say check-in will be busy and you should try to check-in online or use the automatic kiosks. They track people passing through the security checks (I'm not sure whether that includes passports) and this week it has been around 12 - 14 MINUTES. KLM have no particular warnings either.

Posted by
10992 posts

A friend of mine, who is Italian, has an Italian passport but lives in London, went to visit her family outside of Rome last weekend. She said it normally takes less than a minute for her to go through exit immigration because of her passport. Last weekend it took her over 20 minutes. This was at FCO on Sunday and she said the lines everywhere were crazy .

She flew Alitalia.

Posted by
54 posts

To follow up on my previous post, there was no problem with Schengen immigration at Amsterdam. Our plane arrived quite early so we had more time than expected. Also there were about 75 empty seats on the flight and it seemed as if there were no other arrivals at that time (14:00 on Tuesday), so it just wasn't very busy. There were only about 6 people ahead of us in the non-EU line, and the single agent on duty was able to process them in less than 10 minutes.

Posted by
631 posts

There you go. Just remember, the headline "small issue, nothing to worry about" does not sell newspapers.

Posted by
2916 posts

We are transiting AMS on Tuesday afternoon, arriving from the U.S. and going on to a Schengen country.

We did that in April and it was a breeze. Amsterdam is a very large airport, but very efficient.

Posted by
470 posts

As far as I understand it according to how it has been explained by the Slovenian Police, the new tougher checks only affect EU/EEA passport holders and are a permanent measure. Unlike before when they would have been only waved through, their documents now have to be systematically scanned just like the documents of non-EU/EEA passport holders at airports and land borders. Nothing changes for Americans, Canadians, etc. in terms of the type of checks being carried out, as they had been systematically checked before the new regulations took effect, too.

This issue affects departures and arrivals at Schengen airports for passengers from/to non-Schengen destinations, although the delays at entry checks when arriving are usually not as critical for passengers as the delays that occur at exit checks. Non-EU/EEA passport holders may be caught up at smaller airports, where they might only be one queue for all passports, as opposed to separate queues at larger airports. Just last month, I waited on the airport tarmac of Trieste Airport for 45 minutes for two police officers to check the arriving passengers of a single 737 coming in from Stansted, the vast majority of whom were EU nationals and many holding Italian ID cards, which cannot be scanned but must be retyped into the computer. Before, I've never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes to get through passport control.

Posted by
27502 posts

I left the UK for France this afternoon, through the Channel Tunnel by car on the Eurotunnel train. UK checks were as usual, 2 or 3 cars in the queue, took about a minute for the actual inspection because I stopped to chat. Otherwise it would have been about 20 seconds. The French inspection 100 metres further on involved nothing more than a wave of the closed passports.

I did see a tweet that in peak time today going in the other direction that there was between a 30 and 60 minute delay, but I believe that much of that was because this is the Sunday at the end of the first 2 weeks of August when mom and dad have to get back to work in the morning after a fortnight away....