Greece’s Rhodes International Airport was the site of chaos over the weekend as crowds of travelers complained of long lines that were compounded by a lack of adequate air conditioning and communication from staff.
Numerous social media posts showed exceptionally long lines forming as passengers appeared to grow more and more impatient with the delays.
While a majority of travelers were seen wearing face masks, the number of waiting passengers made social distancing all but impossible.
Witnesses reported that multiple fights broke out and blamed travel company TUI, British low-cost carrier Jet2 and others for the delays and overcrowding.
One traveler claimed the chaos was aided by staff calling five flights for departure at the same time at one point.
Absolute chaos at Rhodes Airport. 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 @grantshapps @BBCNews. pic.twitter.com/kiTy2AMIIo
— David Vassallo (@davidjvassallo) October 24, 2020
“Never seen an airport run so badly, saw about four or five fights breakout,” passenger Chris Smith wrote in a Twitter post. “We all had to queue for two hours for passport control, everyone was stressed.”
Never seen an airport run so badly, saw about 4 or 5 fights breakout. We all had to queue for 2 hours for passport control, everyone was stressed.
Lauren even made it onto the Sun’s report https://t.co/ZX1CLTdbzb
— Chris Smith (@ChrisSmith521) October 24, 2020
Lauren Rammell of British girl group Four of Diamonds was left speechless by her experience, tweeting “I actually have no words for the scenes at Rhodes airport this evening…”
I actually have no words for the scenes at Rhodes airport this evening…
— Lauren Rammell (@LaurenRammell) October 24, 2020
TUI attributed the extraordinary scene in Rhodes to an “increased volume of flights by a number of airlines.”
“We’re sorry for the disruption that our customers have experienced at Rhodes airport today,” a spokesperson for TUI said in a statement via The Daily Mail. “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.”
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