Ryanair boss hits out as holiday chaos caused by new passport controls

Airport chaos

The new rules were introduced in April following the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris and aim to stop potential terrorists moving freely.

European Union countries have to carry out tougher checks on passengers entering or leaving the Schengen area - which covers most of mainland Europe and lets people move passport-free.

The group, which represents carriers including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways' parent company IAG, claimed some passengers are missing their flights because of the issue.

The details of people from non-Schengen countries, such as the United Kingdom, will be run through databases to see if they pose a threat.

Airlines For Europe, a group which represents carriers including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways' owner IAG, said that compared to past year some delays had increased by 300 per cent and that some passengers had missed flights.

Time-consuming immigration controls and a shortage of border staff are being blamed for long delays at European airports for thousands of British holidaymakers.

Tourists have complained of the immigration lines that were "hundreds of metres long" with a wait time of up to four hours.

And A4E warned that the situation could worsen in the coming weeks as the new regulations have not yet been fully implemented.

Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E, said: "Member states need to take all necessary measures now to prevent such disruptions and deploy appropriate staff and resources in sufficient numbers to carry out the requested checks". The six-month period to put the enhanced checks in place ends on October 7.

The European Commission has said that any delays at European airports due to stricter security checks are the responsibility of member states.

If you're travelling to Europe this summer, it's quite likely you'll spend more time than usual waiting for your flight.

Border check points should be kept "sufficiently resourced" to keep queuing times as short as possible, she added. Phil Davis, whose flight home from Frankfurt yesterday was delayed by 90 minutes, said the airport only had one security lane open to process a large number of worldwide flights.

And he appeared to blame this week's chaos on airport authorities, particularly in southern Europe, that have failed to prepare for the stringent new checks - despite having had two years'warning.

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