scorecardTravel chaos on holiday weekend as passport gates fail at UK airports, causing long delays for passengers
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Travel chaos on holiday weekend as passport gates fail at UK airports, causing long delays for passengers

Sam Tabahriti   

Travel chaos on holiday weekend as passport gates fail at UK airports, causing long delays for passengers
LifeThelife1 min read
  • Passengers faced long delays at British airports Saturday after electronic passport gates failed.
  • The outage meant all passengers' passports were being checked manually by officers.

Tens of thousands of passengers arriving at airports in the UK have been delayed for hours at passport control after e-gates failed.

Reports about problems with the gates at Heathrow, Britain's busiest airport, emerged on Friday night. Other airports serving London including Gatwick, Stansted and Luton have also affected, as well as others including Manchester and Edinburgh in Scotland.

Many passports were being checked manually by UK Border Force officers until the problem was resolved.

Anna McGovern, a writer and campaigner, was stuck in a queue for passport control at Luton Airport early Saturday along with "thousands" of other passengers.

She tweeted: "Many have been waiting for 3/4+ hours to go through. What an absolute mess."

One traveler at Heathrow said on Twitter they had landed at "this mother of queues," while another passenger tweeted: "Just landed to scenes of utter chaos. 2 hour queues just to get to the real queue. Gates broken."

A representative for Heathrow tweeted: "We are aware of a nationwide issue impacting the eGates, which are operated by Border Force. This issue is impacting a number of ports of entry and is not Heathrow-specific.

"Our teams are working closely with Border Force to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible and we have additional colleagues on hand to manage queues and provide passenger welfare. We apologise for any impact this is having to passenger journeys."

A representative for Gatwick airport said some passengers may experience delays at immigration due to the nationwide issue with the e-gates.

Manchester Airport tweeted Saturday that it was also affected.

It isn't clear what caused the outage.

A Home Office representative told Insider: "Following a technical border system fault which affected e-Gate arrivals into the UK, we can confirm all e-Gates are now operating as normal. We thank those travellers who were impacted for their patience and staff for their work in resolving the issue."




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