UK holidaymakers could be faced with long queues in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Travel research by consumer group Which? found that UK passengers could have to undergo extra border checks if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
It highlighted that Alicante airport in southern Spain would need more staff and resources to deal with an estimated additional 201 hours of immigration checks on British passport holders, on average, every single day as 43 per cent of all arrivals are from the UK.
Other Spanish airports that will be affected by the new rules include six of the 10 busiest airports for UK arrivals places such as Tenerife South, Lanzarote, Malaga, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca.
A spokesperson for the European Commission told Which? that ‘as of the withdrawal date, UK nationals will not be entitled to use the separate lanes provided for EU/EEA/CH citizens’. It also stated that British holidaymakers ‘will be subject to thorough checks of all entry conditions for third country nationals upon entry’.
Which? travel editor, Rory Boland, said: “Airports can be chaotic at the best of times, but if additional checks at passport control in Spain, Italy and other popular EU destinations are implemented in the event of a no deal, it seems that very long queues are going to be an unwanted side effect.
“Until there is a deal or these airports announce simpler arrangements, you should consider what you may need if you have to fly to them – as it is very likely that you’ll be in a queue for several hours. Make sure you have food, water and essentials for kids like nappies to hand.”
Immigration officials will be obliged to check passport validity, passport expiry date, purpose and length of stay, and whether visitors can support themselves financially. These additional border checks have been estimated to add an extra 90 seconds at immigration per UK passenger, on top of the 25 seconds it currently takes to check passports.