Travellers angered by chaotic delays in major European airports

Tightened border checks mean lengthy delays an airline lobby group has warned

The new rules were introduced in April following the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris and aim to stop potential terrorists moving freely.

Just to compound the problem, there is also a Europe-wide shortage of border control staff available to handle these extra duties which are said to involve two to three minutes extra scrutiny of passengers' passports against the aforementioned terror lists at external borders.

European Union member states have until October to implement the checks in full, adds the paper.

The group, which represents carriers including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways' parent company IAG, claimed some passengers are missing their flights because of the issue.

But the new rules mean checks against a series of databases are now carried out on each passenger from non-Schengen countries.

Passenger figures are up 4 per cent over the same weekend past year, with over 2,669 flights expected to arrive and depart between Friday and Monday.

Holidaymakers travelling to warmer climes this summer might have to arm themselves with plenty of patience as they risk being stuck at European airports for hours.

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Some passengers have missed their flights or been forced to queue for up to four hours while leaving or arriving for their holiday, Europe's largest airline association has warned.

It came as Ryanair, Europe's busiest airline, admitted that nearly a quarter of its flights had run late over a 24-hour period this week because passengers could not get through security to board flights to the UK.

Lord Callanan, the aviation minister, said he would urge his counterparts in Spain, Portugal and Italy to do more to cut waiting times for British tourists after reports of four-hour queues. The six-month period to put the enhanced checks in place ends on October 7.

"Especially during the peak season of the year, travellers face long lines and can't get on their flights".

A spokeswoman for travel trade organisation Abta said: "New, stricter passport checks are resulting in longer queues at some airports, including Palma, which is already busy due to a significant increase in passenger numbers". Phil Davis, whose flight home from Frankfurt yesterday was delayed by 90 minutes, said the airport only had one security lane open to process a large number of global flights.

She wrote: "Mayhem at Barcelona airport, security queue stretching round whole airport and out exit!"

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