Heavy crowds along with a technical problem affecting security gates caused long waiting lines at Brussels National Airport on Sunday, while over 30,000 people had to fly from Zaventem, Belga News Agency reports.
"Since this morning, long lines have been observed by the Federal Police when checking the passports of passengers on non-Schengen flights,” Brussels Airport said in a press release. The queues could be seen clearly on social media networks, where many video clips showed long waiting lines.
All told, 66 non-Schengen flights had been programmed for Sunday, out of a total of 229. That was about 30% of the 229 departure flights, an airport spokesperson told Belga.
In addition to the many flights planned over a relatively short period of time, the e-gates were out of order, which added to the delays.
A federal police representative reported that all the counters for border checks had been filled, and that an extra team was even in place to manage the flow the passengers. She said the police were doing their best to “make the lines more fluid,” but the technical problem with the e-gates will not be solved today.
Brussels Airport has urged its passengers on non-Schengen flights to get to the airport on time, at last three hours in advance.