My wife and I recently took a short break in Catania, the flight leaving Malta at 1.50. We arrived more than two hours before the flight which was a mistake, because perhaps it was lunch-time for the check-in staff. At any rate, we joined the middle of three lines. The problem was, none of these lines was moving. I started to crane my neck and move around and eventually saw that there was only one check-in lady, servicing three lines, but she had a problem customer, a lady with dreadlocks and a mountain of luggage. The conversation was extremely protracted. Eventually I saw the check-in lady gesticulating towards the Air Malta service desk, and dreadlocks departed. I said a silent hooray, but nothing happened and after another five minutes dreadlocks was back and the conversation continued. EVENTUALLY, the check-in lady shoveled dreadlocks off to the business-class check-in lady who had been sitting idle for the past half hour - definitely NOT taking up the slack - and almost simultaneously three or four check-in staff also arrived (back from their lunch-break?) and things finally got moving, but not quickly enough to prevent an extremely irate passenger from missing his flight to Milan. I don't blame him for losing his composure. This was ridiculous. We could afford to lose an hour standing in line, and it really was an hour, but others couldn't. Just a tweak here or there (the business class check-in girl taking responsibility, or staggered lunch-times?) could have avoided a great deal of frustration. All I had was a very sore back (I'm elderly) and a sour taste in the mouth, especially when the queuing was repeated at departure as we all waited for the buses. The flight itself was absolutely fine, and arrival was almost alarmingly easy, since there was no Immigration to go through! But by the way, anyone flying in or out of Malta needs to know that there are no "sky-ways" to enable you just to walk onto an aircraft, but buses out to the planes and stairs up to them, and you'd better hope for good weather.