My TAP flight from Newark got in early, just past 5 a.m. I was excited. I'd had to reschedule my connection on to Barcelona yesterday after one of those airline-generated schedule changes because said change reduced my transfer time to 40 minutes. I figured that I might just be able to race through immigration and get on the earlier flight.
And then I saw the terrible immigration line. The waiting area was divided into three sections: the EU plus EEA and Switzerland line, the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries) line, and the other countries line. The EU-plus line appeared to be zipping along, and was sparsely populated as it was.
The CPLP and other countries lines, however, were moving at a snail's pace. I would guess that there were 150 people in the other countries line, perhaps a few less in the CPLP line. And for each group, there was a single customs agent stamping passports. This enthusiasm-sapping pace continued for about 90 minutes.
Sometime around 7 a.m. a slate of agents arrived to expedite things, but all things considered it took close to two hours to clear that line. It was annoying, sure, but more than it was plainly disappointing to see an airport not plan for their arrivals.