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Slower immigration times for non-Shengen people since the intro of EU 2017/458?

Slower immigration times for non-Shengen people since the intro of EU 2017/458?

Old May 27, 19, 6:28 pm
  #1  
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Slower immigration times for non-Shengen people since the intro of EU 2017/458?

Just been looking at Athens Airport website and noticed this warning:

As of April 7th, 2019, the Hellenic Police has implemented EU Regulation 2017/458 which requires for all European citizens, travelling to/from Non-Schengen destinations, systematic checks against relevant databases.

In view of the above, increased waiting times might be expected at passport control, thus passengers travelling to Non-Schengen destinations are kindly requested:
  • to timely attend the checkpoints of the Hellenic Police, allowing sufficient time to reach the Departure Gate of their flight.
  • to hold a passport document rather than an id card, in order to accelerate the checks.
I'm wondering if anyone (at least from the UK) travelling there on the half term holidays noticed any delay in entry? Or is this on exit only? It's a little ambiguous between the first and second lines.

I'm going later in the summer to a small island and passport control has been a quick check of your passport with the odd one scanned. Given the queue on arrival is out into the sun, I'd be a bit concerned if it didn't move terribly fast, especially if they had to check every passport. There is from memory only 2 immigration desks there. I also have a ferry to catch! It takes 50 minutes to drive to the port, plus time to collect the car and buy tickets. I have 4 hours but this flight has been delayed enough in the past for me to miss it.
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Old May 27, 19, 7:00 pm
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FTers reporting in the Aegean Airlines forum claim that lines at ATH are not longer than before, also because there are now automatic kiosks that can be used by passengers with passports containing nachine-readable biometric data. There are no reports, though, on other airports, and the ones mentioned are unfortunately not in the dedicated thread. At any rate, I haven't heard of big delays entering the country, and if you have 4 hours between your arrival and the departure of your ferry, I'd not expect any major problems...

The Hellenic Police's warning mentions coming early to the airport for the exit from the country for the simple reason that one can obviously get earlier to passport control while this is not the case at entry (i.e. nobody can get there earlier than the plane ).

By the way, which small island airport has passport control checks performed out in the sun at an airport that is located 50 minutes driving away from the port?

Last edited by KLouis; May 27, 19 at 7:07 pm
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Old May 28, 19, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
FTers reporting in the Aegean Airlines forum claim that lines at ATH are not longer than before, also because there are now automatic kiosks that can be used by passengers with passports containing nachine-readable biometric data. There are no reports, though, on other airports, and the ones mentioned are unfortunately not in the dedicated thread. At any rate, I haven't heard of big delays entering the country, and if you have 4 hours between your arrival and the departure of your ferry, I'd not expect any major problems...

The Hellenic Police's warning mentions coming early to the airport for the exit from the country for the simple reason that one can obviously get earlier to passport control while this is not the case at entry (i.e. nobody can get there earlier than the plane ).

By the way, which small island airport has passport control checks performed out in the sun at an airport that is located 50 minutes driving away from the port?
No, I said the queue is out into the sun -


Kefalonia Airport

I landed once behind another plane. It was very crowded in the terminal but there was a bit of wait on the ramp as we waited to get to the immigration officer. It is being rebuilt. I'm hoping it's ready for my next trip, but from what i saw last year I'm not expecting it to be complete.

The port I was referring to is Sami, not Argostoli. Depending on the taxi driver you get it can be done in 30 if you don't mind a rollercoaster ride through the mountains but 40 to 50 is more the norm. For tourists, it's a slower drive as we navigate the twists and turns. I'm allowing at least an hour for it, plus a stop over at Lidl to get a few supplies!
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Old Aug 7, 19, 5:09 pm
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Just as an update, this image of the arrivals at Kefalonia Airport is now history.

To the right of this building is a new departures terminal that is larger and has more seating that it's predecessor. Not quite enough for every, but better. Also a far nicer eatery with hot food options. Security checks are now done before passport control and very efficient.
The existing building is being demolished and replaced with a similar sized building which will give 3 more gate I believe. There is one gate that was marked with A and B sides, but it's still the same gate. Disappointingly the ramps are gone, replaced with stairs down the tarmac for able bodied passengers (a pain if you get held on them with carry on bags) and a lift for those that need it.
Arrivals is in what looks like a temporary structure to the left of the above building. Yes, we were waiting out in the sun to be processed. Staff were good in taking those with young children to the front of the line. Not so good for the rest of us of course. My passport was checked in about 10 seconds of scanning. There was only 1 or 2 baggage belts. We had carry on so didn't note. Car rentals are in tiny kiosks at the back of the place. Staff very friendly despite the cramped conditions. A few roadworks outside made for an interesting start to the journey in the car.

Oh, and despite yet another flight delay with easyjet blaming ATC we had time to stop at Lidl and get to the ferry with time for a frappe and kataifi at the port before the ferry!
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