Sunday 15 September 2019

'Disgusting scenes' - Irish holidaymakers caught up in customs chaos at Faro Airport

The queue at passport control in Faro Airport, Portugal Photo: Brenda Donohue
The queue at passport control in Faro Airport, Portugal Photo: Brenda Donohue
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

IRISH holidaymakers have described chaotic scenes at Faro Airport in Portugal as they were forced to queue for hours at passport control with no air conditioning.

Pictures and videos shared on social media show how hundreds of people were crammed into a hallway as they tried to get through customs on Sunday night.

Radio and TV presenter Brenda Donohoe was one Irish passenger caught up in the chaos.

"There was no organisation, everyone was on top of each other... it took about an hour to get down the stairs," the Kildare woman told

"There was a woman beside me who was seven months pregnant and another woman who was quite elderly, and the heat in the place was giving her a bad migraine.

"It was really dangerous and it could have led to a very volatile situation. I was surprised at how controlled the crowd was. There was no security, no air conditioning and no explanation. There was only one guy checking passports."

Fortunately for the Irish passengers travelling back to Dublin, Aer Lingus delayed the flight to ensure all passengers could board.

Another disgruntled passenger described the "carnage" that unfolded.

"Disgusting scenes. Thought we were going to miss our flight. People were all running forward, knocking barriers over and barging people and nothing being done."

Faro Airport expanded last year following an investment of nearly €33 million.

The expansion increased the airport's terminal capacity from 2400 to 3000 people per hour. has contacted the airport for comment.

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