The crowds and long waits in the area of passport control of terminal 4 of Madrid-Barajas again generate alarm among airlines. Iberiathe main user of hubcomplains about a problem that has been repeated this morning and that has already left 15,000 of its passengers with delayed or missed connecting flights since last March 1. A situation that generates inconvenience among users, operational problems for airlines and leaves endless claims.
The airline’s management urges reinforcements in some security filters that depend on the Ministry of Interior. The incident has not been minor this morning: ten minutes after the flight to Buenos Aires took off, 100 travelers were missing, stuck in the passport supervision process; another 38 have arrived late for their connection with the Iberia flight to Miami, and 30 were missing in the boarding of the operation to Chicago. The three flights, Iberia sources report, have left with delays of 15 to 25 minutes for this reason, managing to board all travelers this time.
The Airline Association (ALA) publicly demanded this lack of National Police personnel at the end of March, obtaining weeks later a commitment from the Government that reinforcements would arrive at the airport. However, the complaints come from behind. The association had already communicated the emergency situation to the Government by letter in October 2021. And in November it estimated that 5,000 travelers had lost their connections at the country’s largest airport.
“To send staff to Barajas they have to withdraw it from other services,” explain sources familiar with the situation. Chaos could become common as this is the first high season in which the millions of British visitors arrive in Spain as travelers from a third country, once the Brexit and restrictions on mobility lifted.
The airline front, and this morning Iberia itself, argue that airports like Madrid are the gateway for 80% of international tourism, which gives the airline sector a key role in the country’s economic development. In this summer of reactivation of travel, it is feared that the airports with the highest density of international travelers, such as those of Madrid, Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife Sur, Barcelona and those of the islands, will become a funnel.
Iberia opened route to Washington and Dallasand resumed that of San Francisco, last Wednesday. Your president, Javier Sanchez-Prietospoke of Barajas as a state-of-the-art infrastructure with multiple possibilities for development, but did not hide his concern about the management of security controls.
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