Yes we did! It was awful and left one of my children close to tears, petrified we were going to be arrested.
We had turned up 2 and a half hours prior to departure as we wanted to ensure we had seats together as booking 6 together in advance costs a fortune! When we arrived there were lots of people outside but as we weren't on a package we went in. I was immediately approached by a rather officious rep asking where we were going. When I told them they said the flight wasn't checking in and we were to wait outside. I said no, Monarch had told us to get to the airport early and that is what we have done; we don't want to wait outside and we aren't on a package anyway. This turned into a small argument. I told them I was an extremely nervous flyer needed to ensure seats together which was why we had arrived a little early. I was shaking at this point. I told them that if they would go and arrange our seating then we would happily go outside. They said they couldn't do that and we had to join the queue as jumping the queue was not fair on the people outside who had been there for 2 and a half hours. We all had to wait outside to avoid congestion inside!
Well, honestly! Whose fault is all that? If the holidaymakers weren't herded to the airport so ridiculously early, all for a bit of profit, then there wouldn't be this chaos anyway. How can any independent traveller who wants to check in early to book seats together etc ever manage to do that? Do we have to turn up 5 hours early? What if there is no queue at that point - would we be allowed to start one? I doubt it, the buses would turn up and a queue would form somewhere and we would be told that we were in the wrong one.
Anyway, at that point the checkout opened and Terry went straight to the appropriate scanner queue where a few other independent travellers had gathered. I told the reps that if they wanted us outside they would have to forcibly remove my husband. They didn't look inclined to do that so I went over to Terry and found more reps arguing with the people in that little queue - all 12 of us! How ridiculous, why didn't they just let us check-in? We would have been through before their queue even noticed we were there. Unfortunately the reps insisted that we were all queue jumping and had to go outside! We all refused and the reps marched off to get security to remove us!
What a terrible way to treat people! One of them said that Olympic run the airport and they have the authority to do this. Not that much authority apparently, as security never arrived and the rather bemused Greek guy operating the scanner just started putting our bags through as soon as the reps had stomped off.
I thought it was completely outrageous. One reason we wanted to travel independently was to avoid the airport herding. I feel very sorry for the people who are made to wait outside, I know what it is like, we have done it ourselves in previous years. However, I do not see that reps have any right to try to treat independent travellers the same way. The fact that their guests have queued outside for 2 and a half hours is not our fault. It was a really horrible experience, and although I do feel a little sorry for the reps, I have to say they handle things very badly.