- Staff at the airport were working to rule, taking ten minutes do security checks
- As a result, around 1,000 people missed their flights because it took so long
- Around 350 staff from a private firm work at the airport dealing with security
- They want more staff to combat what they describe as unworkable 16-hour days
Tom Worden for MailOnline
British holidaymakers faced further travel misery today as security staff at Barcelona airport took industrial action causing long queues and missed flights.
Staff at the El Prat airport were working to rule and deliberately taking the maximum of ten minutes to pass each passenger through security.
The industrial action during peak holiday season has caused around 1,000 people to miss flights at the airport in the past few days, airline bosses said.
Staff at the El Prat airport (pictured) were working to rule and deliberately taking the maximum of ten minutes to pass each passenger through security.
Around 350 staff from the private firm Eulen Seguridad work at the airport controlling queues, operating scanners and searching passengers.
They want increased staffing levels and improved working conditions, saying they are stressed and work up to 16 hours a day.
Mediation between the workers and their bosses at Eulen, at the Catalonia Labour Tribunal, broke down on Monday.
Spanish media reported the staff are taking unofficial action including delaying passengers for ten minutes each as they pass through security.
And increased action, including short hour-long strikes at key points of the day, are expected to begin on Friday.
A spokesman for the Spanish airlines association Aceta said the action was ‘causing delays at security controls that are causing some companies to delay flights so they can wait for passengers stuck in queues’.
They said up to 30 per cent of flights are being delayed at the airport – because some are missing up to 50 passengers when due to take off.
Furious British holidaymakers are forced to queue for up to FOUR HOURS in ‘Third World passport control’ at European airports after Brussels insists on tough new EU border checks
This was the scene at Paris’s Orly airport last week, where some reported 80-minute delays
British holidaymakers have been left queuing at passport checks at European airports for up to four hours after tougher new border rules were imposed by the EU.
Airports popular with British tourists, including Paris, Madrid and Lisbon, have seen queues stretching hundreds of yards as the stricter checks are imposed on entry and exit.
Some airports have reported long delays to planes taking off while crews wait for passengers to pass the border, and other travellers are said to have missed their flights while standing in line.
Palma airport in Majorca, which is inundated with British families this month after the start of the school holidays, is one of those hit.
Tourist Connor Aston told MailOnline: ‘There were four guys standing in only one booth yesterday at passport control. I felt they were punishing the UK residents and had a very abrupt attitude. It was absolutely not a good experience.’
Mr Aston was trying to get on an Easyjet flight to Belfast with his with partner, mother-in-law and children aged three, six and 12.
He waited around half an hour to get through controls, and added: ‘It definitely looked as they were on a go slow.’
Paul Bower had to wait 90 minutes at Bergerac Airport after flying in from Bristol last Thursday. For much of that time, he and other passengers were standing on the tarmac next to a runway beneath a marquee.
He said: ‘There were three booths open but only one was manned. It was definitely taking longer to check each passport.’
The airport has a history of industrial action as members of Iberia ground staff at Barcelona’s El Prat airport are pictured here blocking the runway after agreeing to go on strike in July 2006
Aceta chairman Antonio Pimentel said: ‘These long queues of passengers cannot go on for another day.’
The workers are due to meet tomorrow to discuss further measures.
El Prat is Spain’s busiest airport, with 44.1million passengers passing through last year.
British and Irish passengers have already faced long delays at other airports in Spain and around Europe because of tough new border controls.
Last month the new EU controls – coupled with a lack of staff – caused Brits to miss flights out of Palma airport in Majorca.
Passengers have been warned to expect queues of ‘hundreds of meters’ at airports including Madrid, Palma, Lisbon, Lyons, Paris Orly and Milan.
The new rules, requiring checks on passengers from non-Schengen countries including the UK and Ireland, were introduced following terror attacks in Paris and Brussels.
British holidaymakers are left stranded on the island of Zakynthos after their EasyJet plane spends TWO DAYS grounded on the tarmac
Among those marooned in the Greek airport is Mark Longbottom, a charitable foundation worker living in Bristol, and his young family. They have been there for three days
Scores of British holidaymakers were today left stranded in ‘total chaos’ on the Greek island of Zakynthos after their grounded EasyJet plane spent a third day on the tarmac.
Technical problems with flight EZY9746 to London Gatwick has meant families have been marooned in Greece since Sunday.
The budget airline tried to rescue the men, women and children involved but they claimed a nighttime curfew on landings caused by endangered loggerhead turtles saw them cancel a relief flight.
After a string of delays and failed take-offs, some families were forced to spend hundreds of pounds on flights with other companies having lost faith in EasyJet.
It is understood around 40 people from the original 180 booked onto Sunday’s flight are on their way back to the UK on an EasyJet flight which is due to land in Gatwick at 4.11pm having also been delayed.