Madrid: after Schiphol and Heathrow, new passenger chaos at Barajas airport…

Avatar photo

More than a lack of staff, it is the absence of police officers, but the result is identical to other European airports such as Schiphol and Heathrow: endless queues, stress, missed flights, inconvenience for passengers and a nightmarish travel experience.

Sunday March 12: missed non-Schengen flights!

More than a thousand passengers over the past weekend missed their flights at Spain’s Madrid Barajas International Airport due to long queues for passport control at Terminal 4S, i.e. say the one dedicated to non-Schengen flights and especially those from Latin America.

The cause of the huge queues (up to more than 50 minutes waiting for passport control) would be precisely the lack of national police officers – who depend on the Spanish Ministry of the Interior – in charge of carry out security checks both for departing passengers and for those who have connecting flights but who arrive in Madrid as their first European destination and who are not EU citizens.

We are looking for a manager…

The complaint comes directly from Ala, the association of airlines operating in Spain, which through its president Javier Gándara considers unjustified border management with few staff, especially in the run-up to the Easter holidays and the start of the Iata summer timetable (March 26, 2023).

For the moment, however, the Interior Ministry denies the disruptions and turns the charges against the carriers -Iberia in particular-, arguing that the airlines are offloading passport control responsibilities to hide their problems with the shortage of ground staff.

Catherine Mills Avatar