Two female air traffic controllers were glad the police were on hand in their hotel, escorting them through the lobby as furious stranded travellers hurled abuse at them.
“Fire them”, shouted some. “Pigs” cried others.
The controllers have been locked in this industrial dispute for some time, and their union insists they had simply had enough, had taken sick leave, and were not on strike. But that distinction was lost on the frustrated travellers.
“What we want is to fly, we want to pass the festivities at home with our families and get there,” said one woman.
“According to the air company the next flight to Poland is on Monday, so you can see we are trying to get a hotel,” said a tired father.
Flights may resume this morning, but the army needs time to take control. In the meantime millions of euros will be lost, and Spain’s vital tourism industry will be damaged.