BCN passport control delays

Old May 3, 17, 9:58 am
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BCN passport control delays

Just received a text from BAeService advising me to be at passport control 90 mins before departure for a BCN-LHR flight tomorrow.

Have noticed the passport queues departing BCN getting longer (think there is a new EU reg affecting departing passport checks at non-Schengen airports, there are some posts about this at other airports on other boards, and there is a press story about a half plane load of Ryanair pax missing their flight at BCN last week, though that is from a different terminal).

However, 90 mins seems excessive. The most it has taken me to get through at passport control at BCN on a BA/Vueling flight is <5 mins.

Has anyone else experienced any delays, or know the reason for this BA message?
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Old May 3, 17, 10:02 am
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There was an article in one of the papers recently that the Barcelona government is trying to decrease tourism. Guess that's a tough way of doing it
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Old May 3, 17, 10:04 am
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Hi wyvern,
I was down there a few times last summer with work and really got the impression that exit immigration struggles with the number of agents vs. pax. I waited over 50 minutes when departing last July and suspect things haven't improved much in time for this year's either sadly.

My one tip is to make sure you are in the EU national queue if you have an EU/EEA passport. The queuing system is not very good as they often run out of space for the tensa barrier maze.
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Old May 3, 17, 10:05 am
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Last edited by markle; May 25, 23 at 8:27 am
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Old May 3, 17, 10:11 am
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I've waited an hour to get though exit passport control at BCN T1, lots of pushing and shoving and angry passengers
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Old May 3, 17, 10:24 am
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I queued for an hour to get to the exit passport control after the Easter weekend - seemingly only 3 desks manned and lots of angry passengers. This weekend was better - only 15 minutes on bank holiday Monday evening but again only a few of the desks were manned. I was told there's some kind of industrial dispute between the airport and the border police.
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Old May 3, 17, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by BobbySteel
There was an article in one of the papers recently that the Barcelona government is trying to decrease tourism. Guess that's a tough way of doing it
Why would the government want to decrease tourism?
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Old May 3, 17, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Why would the government want to decrease tourism?
Barcelona is getting over-run, or so some residents are saying (30 million visitors in 2016). It's become a huge hit with tourists from Asia. The mayor, Ada Colau, has also made statements saying she doesn't think the city can't cope any more.

However I don't think its connected with this directly, since passport control - which only affects non Schengen travellers - is handled by the Cuerpo Nacional de Polica and Guardia Civil, which are both under national control. El Prat may be getting over-stretched however.

[Doesn't affect back to back passengers, there is no passport control].
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Old May 3, 17, 11:40 am
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Took me 45 min last week. The non-EU queue was actually moving faster as they had several agents. I heard something about strikes or negotiations with immigration staff.

Loads of people queue jumping to catch flights which increased the queue rage. A few did miss their flights in the end. All a bit of a jest.
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Old May 3, 17, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Why would the government want to decrease tourism?

"Decrease" may not be the right word, but maybe "manage" is the correct term. Barca gets a shed load of tourists -- the numbers are growing by a lot -- and a lot of locals are not fans.
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Old May 3, 17, 11:55 am
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I was in BCN last week and thank G-D I was travelling business.

The Q's to clear security were HORRENDOUS. I would even put them as scary as passengers were clearly going to miss flights.

In comparison, the business and family lines were EMPTY...

I know a business class ticket comes with certain privileges, BUT the lines for economy were outrageous....
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Old May 3, 17, 12:18 pm
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On Saturday late afternoon, took me 50 minutes from the exit from fast track security until I was through exit immigration. Queues stretched far back beyond the sign saying left for non-EU, right for EU, which caused additional chaos once people shuffled forward to find out they were in the wrong side... Lots of very stressed people, some people pushing through to the front, lots of crew pushing through to the front including a few instances where they nearly caused a fight by doing it, and general all-round grumpyness
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Old May 3, 17, 12:20 pm
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Glad for the heads up before I go to BCN this summer.
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Old May 3, 17, 12:49 pm
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Not been through BCN in a little while, but the border staff for entry into non-Schengen area at T1 always used to slow their work rate right down when Gibraltar was in the news...
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Old May 3, 17, 12:49 pm
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Same over at Linate. 45mins to get through for the morning flight last week. New EU reg cited. People had already missed the LCY flight.
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