Tenerife Brexit chaos as tourists queue for hours for passport control and taxis

Constant chaos at a Tenerife airport’s passport control following Brexit has led the local hotel employers’ association to denounce the situation as embarrassing.

The Asociación Hotelera y Extrahotelera (Ashotel) of Tenerife, La Palma, la Gomera, and El Hierro said the “chaos” has been going on “for months” following the implementation of passport control for UK visitors at Tenerife South Airport.

They said the long queues to pass the aforementioned control and subsequent queues to catch a taxi at the airport taxi rank” should “not correspond to a first-class infrastructure of national interest”.

Ashotel added that the airport is the seventh most important of the entire AENA network in Spain, with 10.8 million passengers and 75,600 operations in 2022, and one of the most profitable.

The vice-president of Ashotel, Victoria López said it “nonsense” that there is a “bottleneck” in passport control for passengers coming from non-EU countries, such as the UK.

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Ms López added: “This is not an extraordinary one-off situation, when flights are scheduled and it is known well in advance when they will arrive.

“This information would allow for staff reinforcements if necessary.”

Thousands of passengers are forced to queue at the airport’s taxi rank after making it through passport control.

Ashotel argues there should be no restrictions on taxi licenses at the airport to help ease the long wait times.

The president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, said that the Tenerife South airport “is starting to become quite tiresome”.

He added it was providing a poor first impression to tourists, saying it was giving “this lousy image as the main gateway, both for visitors and for our own residents. We deserve a 21st century facility.”

Mr Marichal said the airport has to demand investment after decades of “neglect” in state budgets.

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Mr Marichal said that if a vehicle that is not from Granadilla wishes to cover a service from the airport to another point on the island, it should be able to do so without the specification reservation of taxis from that municipality.

Ashotel has suggested creating a figure to act as a coordinator of the flow of taxis at the airport, and to authorise the entry of taxis from other municipalities when the number of people waiting in line is more than 30.

Non-Grenadilla taxis should also be able to operate at the busiest periods, it says.

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