BCN passport control delays

Old May 3, 2017, 5:21 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by EvilDoctorK
BTW - Where is Fast Track security at BCN ? - I may not be looking hard enough but I have never noticed it [ I know in MAD it's kind of hidden around the side ]
It is on the left side of the main security entrance, it's actually quite obvious, more so than MAD. Look for the overhead sign saying "Carril rpido / Carril rpid/ Fast lane", it's on the correct side for the non Schengen departure area.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
I haven't departed BCN on a nonstop to the USA in a while, but IIRC the USA flights leave from a totally different and segregated area of the airport that cannot be accessed by anyone else. That area has separate lounges, etc. as well as separate security and passport control areas.
Unless this has changed recently, AA and BA leave from the same area, though AA has their usual at the gate check. I know that AA uses the same AENA lounge as BA, Salas Joan Mir, just after and down from duty free. This is on a different level to most departures which are within Schengen. BCN T1 is very cleverly designed, it has layers, so non Schengen on top, and the gate / airbridges can be switched between Schengen and non Schengen at the flick of a switch.
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Old May 4, 2017, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
It is on the left side of the main security entrance, it's actually quite obvious, more so than MAD. Look for the overhead sign saying "Carril rpido / Carril rpid/ Fast lane", it's on the correct side for the non Schengen departure area.
Thanks CWS ... I'll look next time .. I haven't looked that hard before I guess .. also perhaps in my defence when I arrive there it's normally on the Aerobus and that drops you off at the 'start' or the terminal so you're normally approaching from the other side.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:00 am
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Was this just a once off problem last weekend, or is it continuing?
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by EvilDoctorK
Thanks CWS ... I'll look next time .. I haven't looked that hard before I guess .. also perhaps in my defence when I arrive there it's normally on the Aerobus and that drops you off at the 'start' or the terminal so you're normally approaching from the other side.
That's correct, from the bus arrival point you effectively have to cross over the building length to get to the Fast Lane, and it's not a small building. But you would have to cover the distance anyway (unless staying in Schengen) since BCN's layout has the passport check on that far side.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:07 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
It is on the left side of the main security entrance, it's actually quite obvious, more so than MAD. Look for the overhead sign saying "Carril rpido / Carril rpid/ Fast lane", it's on the correct side for the non Schengen departure area.
It has moved. It used to be the farthest left security lane, but mostly indistinguishable from the regular security (which most of the time was so fast that it didn't matter). Now, fast track security has its own separate entrance, along with one for families. Again, well to the left...

As for exit passport checks, the EU queue was so long for a recent departure that I went through non-EU (actually "all passports") much quicker. Whatever the new policy, it seems odd that it takes longer per person to scan an EU document instead of an international one.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:13 am
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On the arrival in T1, for the last year or so they have been pushing the use of the electronic entry, which has about 10 terminals and in my experience is fairly quick.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by schrodingerdog
AFAIK there is no priority lines for inmigration in Spain.

The problems in BCN are a combination of
1) New EU regulation about scanning all EU passports / IDs for entry and exit
2) Spanish National Police being low in agents
3) Way too much people going to BCN from outside EU (and also from UK, that needs to clear inmigration as they are not Schengen)
4) BCN is a hot spot for inmigration / customs trouble, so police is always busy and can not put extra staff in the desks
There's no priority line for immigration in Barcelona T1. Inbound it's usually quickest to use the machines. Outbound, there is a (very good) priority security lane but you then have to join the passport control queue with everybody else.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:38 am
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I was hoping this problem had been resolved. Last summer was a nightmare. Up to an hour or more for exit immigration. Total chaos. Why has this not been fixed yet?!
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by volar
There's no priority line for immigration in Barcelona T1. Inbound it's usually quickest to use the machines. Outbound, there is a (very good) priority security lane but you then have to join the passport control queue with everybody else.
I must have been very fortunate that I was flying Schengen to Schengen...
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by justforfun
I was hoping this problem had been resolved. Last summer was a nightmare. Up to an hour or more for exit immigration. Total chaos. Why has this not been fixed yet?!
Up to an hour for someone arriving from the US to the EU, I really don't see the issue. The problem is for EU citizens.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by irishbcn
Up to an hour for someone arriving from the US to the EU, I really don't see the issue. The problem is for EU citizens.
The problem I refer to is exit immigration, not entry. And it is unnecessarily chaotic for all citizens, EU and others. It never used to be a problem until last year.
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:54 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by irishbcn
Up to an hour for someone arriving from the US to the EU, I really don't see the issue. The problem is for EU citizens.
So you think it's OK for a USA citizen coming from the USA to stand in line for an hour for passport control to enter Europe but not for you and other EU citizens?
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Old May 4, 2017, 6:56 am
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Have you seen how EU citizens are treated arriving in the US?
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Old May 4, 2017, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
So you think it's OK for a USA citizen coming from the USA to stand in line for an hour for passport control to enter Europe but not for you and other EU citizens?
To play devil's advocate for a moment, it's not unusual for the same favour to be returned (and then some) in reverse by CBP.
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Old May 4, 2017, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by justforfun
The problem I refer to is exit immigration, not entry. And it is unnecessarily chaotic for all citizens, EU and others. It never used to be a problem until last year.
The problem at ports of entry/exit keeps getting worse in Europe. As the governments increasingly rely upon automated passport controls and on more and more electronic and manual checks (against Interpol/SIS/national databases), things get slower and slower even for EU citizens and others.

This is not just an issue at BCN and other Spanish airports; it's increasingly an issue at Northern European airports too.
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