Chaos broke out at Rhodes Airport over the weekend as hundreds of tourists tried to leave the Greek island at the same time, causing delays to flights in sweltering heat.
Tensions at the airport boiled over as angry travellers complained of lack of staff, huge queues and impossible Covid-19 social-distancing conditions.
On social media, some travellers said fights broke out at the airport after five different flights were announced for departure at the same time.
Taking to Twitter, one user said the airport was in “absolute chaos” with “fights and arguments breaking out” and “no one knowing where they are going or what they are supposed to do.”
According to TUI, who apologised for the chaos, travellers were warned the airport was going to be busy and were told to proceed to passport control as soon as they had checked in.
The warning didn’t stop travellers complaining about conditions, with one passenger claiming it would be a “miracle” if someone wasn’t injured as thousands queued at the airport.
One said: “Chaos at Rhodes airport, 5 flights leaving in the same 30 minutes & everyone is told to go to gate at same time creating bottle neck in awful heat, no staff or announcements to let ppl know what they were to do or where to go, all flights delayed to terrible service!”
A second said: “Huge queues from start to finish. No social distancing. No control from staff. The airport is too small for the extra flights put on by @TUIUK and @jet2tweets. It’s unsafe and can’t continue.”
Another said: “If someone isn’t injured in the thousands queueing then it will be a miracle.
“Whoever the hell designed Rhodes airport deserves to get fired from any job,” added a fourth. “I’ve spent near enough 30 mins in the line for passport control and at this rate everyone in the airport is going to miss their flights.”
Several Greek islands have been on the UK Government’s quarantine list, but travellers have been able to pass through Rhodes without needing to self-isolate.
Coronavirus quarantine rules come into effect for those arriving in Mykonos at 4am Sunday October 25, while Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos were included on October 10.
Flights to the island were increased after Turkey and Poland lost their travel corridors with the UK and trips for the destination surged.
A spokesperson for TUI said: ‘We’re sorry for the disruption that our customers have experienced at Rhodes airport today.
‘We did inform customers in advance that the airport was going to be busy due to the increased volume of flights by a number of airlines, and they were to proceed to passport control as soon as they had checked in.
‘We would like to thank them for their patience and understanding.’
Daily Star Online has also contacted Jet2 for comment.