Tourists forced to queue for four hours

… at Faro airport after an unscheduled strike

The Daily Mail reports online this afternoon that hundreds of tourists stood in four-hour-long queues at Faro airport in Portugal. The situation was so dire that a child fainted while waiting in the queue today  

“In scenes every tourist dreads when they go abroad, hundreds of British tourists have been stuck in four-hour-long queues in a hot and stuffy airport in Portugal”.

A video shows disgruntled holidaymakers standing tightly packed together in front of passport barriers at Faro Airport after airport staff called an unscheduled strike. 

Sam Jones, 36, from Essex, told MailOnline he was stuck in the queue – which saw people lining all the way up the suspended escalators and stairs – for nearly four hours after landing at Faro airport at 10.55 am this morning.

Jones, a plumber, said the crowd was becoming increasingly ‘agitated’ after the striking passport workers left only two border control officers to deal with the influx of tourists. And Jones said he was ‘pretty certain’ those two staff members have ‘just gone for lunch and left us all here’.

British Passport Officers to strike

It comes as British Passport Office workers today revealed they will strike for five weeks in another major blow for holidaymakers. More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union will take part in the walk-out from April 3 to May 5 in a massive escalation of a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Jones, who flew from Stansted airport to Portugal with 12 of his friends for a weekend playing golf, said as soon as they landed at Faro airport, they were met with huge queues after the passport workers called an unscheduled strike.

What the Daily Mail describes as “horrific footage” shows a scene of chaos, with a crowd of dismayed passengers standing in a queue that was not moving. The footage pans around to show hundreds more tourists, with no space between them, queuing up the stairs and an escalator.

‘People are shouting and getting agitated and it’s very hot,’ Jones said, adding that he was told he could be there for up to four hours and he was separated from most of his friends.

‘There are only two people open, and we’re pretty certain that they’ve just gone for lunch and left us all here.’

He added: ‘At this rate, I don’t think I will make it to the golf course before I fly home Monday. I can’t imagine we are going anywhere soon.’

Fortunately, mainland strike action is rarely replicated in Madeira

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

All the incidental news from Madeira – up to 60 reports per day – is being picked up automatically, translated, and posted on our sister website, madeiraislandnews, no matter how trivial:

7 thoughts on “Tourists forced to queue for four hours”

  1. Arrived at Funchal Airport Friday. 2 planes worth of passengers approximately 400 people waiting at Passport checking by 2 staff..1. 1/2 hrs come on Funchal get it sorted..!


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