Hundreds Stranded at Palma Airport, and Problems Could Continue

Palma, Mallorca - Olarty/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Palma de Mallorca is a popular travel destination, which is putting strain on its airport. // Photo by Olarty/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Hundreds of travelers were stranded over the weekend at Palma airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, The Sun reports. Flights on Ryanair, Norwegian and EasyJet were all cancelled or delayed due to a combination of bad weather and lack of crew, leading to lines so long at passport control that local police had to be called to deal with the situation.

We are very sorry to passengers for the cancellation of Norwegian services from Palma to London Gatwick this weekend, caused by a lack of crew, a Norwegian spokesperson told The Sun. Passengers were updated by text message and offered free flight rebooking or a full refund, and our staff also booked a number of passengers onto alternative flights with other airlines – we would like to sincerely apologize again for the inconvenience caused.

This is not the first time this summer that passengers have faced long lines and cancelled flights at the airport, which serves a highly popular summer travel destination for tourists from the UK. On July 12 a lack of police to check documents caused a chaotic situation at the airports passport control area, causing a number of travelers to miss flights home, according to The Sun. Palma airport is the third-busiest in Spain, with 5.3 million travelers from the UK passing through in 2016, with a record-setting number expected for this year.

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In a separate report, a union representing the police told The Sun that problems could continue throughout the summer unless changes are made to flight schedules. Since many flights are scheduled to leave for the UK in the early morning and evening, creating a bottleneck in the schedule. The union urged the airport authority Aena to stagger flights in order to alleviate delays.

Thousands of British tourists who arrive at the airport are forced through a narrow passage barely three meters wide, popularly known as the microwave, the union said in a statement obtained by The Sun. The extremely intense concentration of flights is beneficial to the airlines, the tour operators and Aena in order to generate profits and reduce costs.

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