Weekend airport misery: long delays, possibly till end June

Border inspectors begin month-long targeted strike

Hundreds of incoming passengers endured the misery of long queues through passport control this morning as SEF border inspectors began a new round of industrial action over their lack of knowledge about ‘restructuring plan’ for their service.

Lisbon appears to have been the airport worst affected. 

Passengers arriving at 7am did not get through passport control in some cases before 10am.

SEF (foreigners and borders agency) describes above 90% adhesion to this latest stand-off against the government which is understood to have hoped – still hopes – the action will be called off.

Say reports, ‘all passengers were affected today, including those with European passports’.

If this latest round of industrial action continues as threatened until the end of June, it is likely to start causing long delays in the country’s other airports (Porto, Faro and Madeira) as early summer holidaymakers start to arrive.

SEF’s actions are focused on weekend flights, and those arriving on Monday mornings. Their strike begins each day at 5am and last five hours. The early morning slot chosen coincides with the highest number of incoming international flights.

SEF’s complaints – for weeks now – centre on not having been told what the restructuring plan envisages for personnel, even though it was formally approved by the government in April.

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Portugal Resident