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8:41am on Wednesday, 30th November, 2022:



Normally at an airport, you go through the security section then hang around until your gate is announced, then you go to your gate. The gates for international flights are beyond some form of passport control, but you don't go through passport control in case there's more than one passport control section or your flight is moved to another airport. Sometimes, your passport is checked at the gate itself and it isn't even the other side of a formal line of passport-checking officers.

At Tenerife South airport yesterday, everyone followed the usual procedures. We went through security, waited for our gate to be announced, then went to the gate (which in this case was the other side of passport control). I don't like to be late, so went to the gate the moment that it was announced.

Between me and the gate was passport control.

The airport It has three queues for passports. These are: EU, UK, rest of the world. There were maybe a dozen people in the EU queue, none in the rest of the world queue, and hundreds of people in the UK queue. By the time we reached the front of it, our flight was making its last call announcement, flashing in red on the monitors.

I managed to get onto it in time, but when we were due to take off there were still 13 people who hadn't made it. The pilot held the flight back so they could fight their way through the queue. The last two to board sat next to me. They were incensed, because they had Irish passports and could have queue-jumped by using the EU line.

I don't know why there's a queue specifically for UK visitors to languish in when people of any non-EU nationality can breeze through. If the Tenerife government want to put people from the UK from visiting the island, this is a good way to go about it.

Despite the delayed take-off, we landed 20 minutes early. This was because someone was ill and we didn't have to hang around in a stack waiting for a landing slot. We did have to wait 15 minutes on the plane while paramedics came aboard to take the poor chap off on a stretcher.

Oh, and Gatwick rail station staff: if someone asks what the difference is between a ticket to London Victoria and a ticket to all London terminals, yes, do tell us that the first one (which is £2 more expensive) is for the Gatwick Express, but also tell us that the Gatwick Express isn't running.

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