✅ Trip Verified
| Where to start? We love Portugal. Hands down - a great holiday destination. Visit the Algarve 3 times a year. Unfortunately, Faro Airport is only downside. Check-in is fine, it's fairly standard. It's post check-in where the nightmare begins, with marathon snake queues administered by dour, verging-on-aggressive security staff who flap their arms this way and that corralling you into one of several lines. You then wait, and wait, and eventually get to the top to find your line has been merged with, is it express?, is it late passengers?, or infirm passengers or all the above? You're then abruptly told to stand back and let these people through by unsmiling unapologetic staff. You finally make it through security to an ugly boarded up area that connects you with passport control. [Some countries like Portugal still operate passport control for outgoing passengers. They obviously have their reasons. The UK and Ireland don't, and it makes airport travel that much easier.] It's Sunday 23rd October 2017 at 19.30 and there are 100-150 plus people in line but only two of the 6+ passport desks are operational. The desk on the left says Staff / Crew Only, and almost everyone is filtering through the sole position on the right. Just as we are a few people from the top of the line a member of security directs us to the Staff / Crew Only point where there are a couple of people ahead of us. We now wait in line 10-15 minutes before the passport 'controller' closes his desk and frog marches one passenger off. Seconds later he doubles back and rudely flaps his hand for the 8-10 of us still in line to get over to the 1 remaining desk where we are now faced with trying to filter into a queue of understandably antagonized / already frustrated passengers. [Not sure why the same employee couldn't have called for someone to take his position before he bolted, but then I'm at a loss as to why there were so few staff working on a night where there is such a high volume of passengers.] An hour after check-in and we finally get through to the duty free area. Unfortunately the area outside duty free is about 50pc it's normal size thanks to more unending refurbishments. There isn't a seat to be had so we stand to one side in a bid not to be trampled on. Our flight isn't boarding for half an hour. We are jaded from what we felt was an completely avoidable trauma, but then we've been through this airport before so we know it's par for the course. As such we arrived in plenty of time so as not to miss our flight but imagine hundreds of people do miss their flights on a regular basis thanks to the terrible system the airport authorities favour. [I would recommend at least 3 hours to anyone departing Faro Airport]. Fortunately we weren't travelling with our children this time - and our hearts went out to those we were in line with. Faro Airport Authorities - you know nothing about good customer service. It's plainly visible too that many of your staff have contempt for the very people who are bringing revenue to the Algarve. Next time we fly we are seriously considering Seville, and would recommend it to others too. We've used in the past - it isn't remotely as busy - and is about 90 minutes drive from Algarve.