Consumer authorities in Catalunya recommend travellers affected by the Barcelona airport strikes take photographs of the queues at security to help them with their compensation claims and give regional watchdogs more fuel when fighting passengers’ corner.
Inspectors have been on duty every two to three days at El Prat airport to monitor waiting times, said Montserrat Ribera of the Catalunya Consumer Agency in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio.
“But photographs of the queues taken by passengers will help us evidence what is going on,” she stressed.
As yet, the Agency does not have official numbers of travellers affected, but based upon airlines’ own calculations, it is thought that at least 1,000 have missed their flights due to waits of between 90 minutes and four hours at security.
Claims for compensation can be made to the nationa airport governing body, AENA, and also to the ministry of public works as the State is liable, says Sra Ribera.
“We’re talking about security – a basic airport service – and security is what the ministry is required to be able to guarantee; but they’re not doing that,” she argues.
Eulen, the company the security staff works for, says negotiations have reached stalemate as the pay rise demanded by striking employees is ‘prohibitive’ and ‘unacceptable’.
Some of the problem, however, is that EU rules now require anyone entering or leaving the Schengen zone to be checked at security on a database, rather than simply showing their passport.
The measures affect passengers from the UK, as well as those from outside the EU, and have led to queues of up to an hour or two at airports in Spain and other Schengen nations.
Airlines have criticised affected countries for not planning ahead and ensuring extra staff are on duty at security.
But with security employees taking industrial action until further notice every Friday at Barcelona’s El Prat airport, the situation is further aggravated