I once compared tourist operations to mass production. Particularly relevant for the mass of Mallorca, holidaymakers are the raw material along the production chain, a dehumanised system to manage volume. Lined up, checked, processed at departure; herded onto conveyor belts for mass movement - planes and coaches; lined up, checked and processed on arrival twice over - airport and hotel.
After all this, and finally, the raw material is spat out. It becomes human again in feeling the warmth of the sun of holiday, the whole point of this mass production.
Moving people en masse is a huge logistical and multiagency undertaking, for which airports, airlines, tour operators, transport companies and hotels have to be aligned in ensuring efficiency.
Beyond the efficiency there are those agents who do their best in making mass tourist production as tolerable as possible. They abide, as well as they can, with their missions for customer care. They remember that tourists are not raw material but people.
The people themselves suffer and accept the processing, but their tolerance breaks down when and if certain agents fail and their efficiency itself breaks down. Mass production systems cannot tolerate inefficiency in their steps because this means lost productivity.
For tourists this is unproductive time, and tourists are people; this cannot be forgotten. IATA is warning of potentially up to eight hours of pre-flight and post-flight processing. This is intolerable. Airport procedures, harmonised digital certificates. They have to be adapted and adopted now.