Poll suggests European passport control delays not as long as reported

Poll suggests European passport control delays not as long as reported

Nearly three quarters of passengers are spending less than half an hour in queues at passport control at European airports, research has found after reports of queues of up to four hours in the last week.

A poll of holidaymakers passing through European airports by holiday comparison site icelolly.com found that 90% got through passport control in under an hour, and 71% in less than 30 minutes.

The findings run counter to a number of recent reports of widespread and lengthy delays throughout the continent.

Airlines for Europe (A4E), whose members include Ryanair, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, Norwegian Air and Jet2.com, warned of four-hour delays at airport immigration in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and Portugal last week. It blamed a recent tightening of EU regulation on external border checks.

EU officials said the waiting times were the “price to pay for security” and that airports have had ample time to prepare for the stricter rules, first proposed in 2015.

UK Aviation Minister Lord Callanan said he’d be speaking to counterparts in Spain, Portugal and Italy about the matter.

Icelolly.com’s research, conducted with the responses of passengers who travelled between July 22 and August 3, suggested only 5% of passengers waited for longer than two hours.

Andrew Latham, chief executive at icelolly.com, said: “This latest poll highlights that whilst EU passport control queues are hitting the headlines, holidaymakers are not experiencing significant delays as reported.

“We’ll wait to see whether this changes with increased EU security checks coming into force over the next days and weeks, but our advice is to not let a few isolated reports deter you from travelling abroad during the busy summer period.”

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