Marrakech - For some months now, delays of one and a half hours or sometimes as much as two to three hours have been reported by many passengers at passport control upon arrival at Marrakech airport. When a number of flights land at the same time, the queues turn into a horrific jam.
Marrakech – For some months now, delays of one and a half hours or sometimes as much as two to three hours have been reported by many passengers at passport control upon arrival at Marrakech airport. When a number of flights land at the same time, the queues turn into a horrific jam.
Marrakech Menara is a fine modern airport and operates very efficiently when the passport control is not overcrowded. A second terminal is scheduled to be built, which will hopefully reduce the pressure on the arrivals hall.
The delays seem to have increased in recent months when a number of flights land at once and hundreds of people line up in the queue. The “snake” system, which has only just been introduced, is taking time to work effectively.
Customer complaints lodged on the airport’s website (http://marrakech.airport-authority.com/passenger-feedback) have focused on unresponsive staff and an insufficient number of immigration officials at the counters to deal with passport control. Passport details are entered manually, which takes additional time.
Marrakech Menara airport is by no means alone in experiencing overcrowding. The need for security and anti-narcotic control is well understood. Modern day air travel is not short of inconveniences for the passenger. Indeed, tourists flying to Morocco may already have encountered long delays before arriving in Marrakech.
However, in the context of a modern Morocco wishing to welcome more tourists, such delays are counterproductive. Many tourists arriving on the evening of September 16, when hundreds of tourists were stalled at the passport control area, were heard to say that they would not return to Morocco again. One passenger complained to an official and was told, “Morocco is always like this, it will never change.”
Hopefully matters will improve with the completion of the second terminal. Moroccan authorities ought to ensure that the passport control procedures are conducted in accordance with international standards.
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