Tourists arriving at Palma airport. | miquel a. canellas


I have been away for a week in Cornwall for a fabulous family wedding. Today I have returned with a tale to tell about Bristol Airport and our arrival in the middle of the night at Palma. Headlines said, ‘Bristol Airport Carnage.’ Our family piled into the car for the four hour drive to Bristol. To arrive and check in early was our intention after that publicity. We arrived to peace, tranquillity and to the jokes of the check in staff.

We waited there for four hours before boarding our slightly late flight. All around was mayhem with delayed and cancelled planes all over the place. Hotel arrangements were being made for those whose flights would not be departing till the next day. Staying in the departure lounge was not an option as the whole airport closes completely and has to be emptied at 2am.

Arriving at Palma we were met by a bus to take us to the airport building. From then on we began to see why the word ‘carnage’ was being used. Hundreds and hundreds of people not understanding what they were queuing for. Many, who thought it was to collect baggage, marched to the front of the queue. They were not collecting baggage and thought the rules did not apply to them.

The queue was for passport control, where three people sat in booths alongside the shiny new passport control machines which were not in use. The lack of checking of documents was obvious. They checked about 1 in 10 and let everyone else pass on through. The queue just got longer and longer and squeezing the crowd through a thee option exit was the problem. Tempers and tiredness were obvious not to mention crying children and overheating.

Time taken for us in that queue was 55 minutes. From then on it was plain sailing, the baggage was already on the carousel and the car was where we left it. This was the story of my weekend. Now home…