Passport e-gates down at all UK airports causing travel chaos - latest
Passport e-gates are down in the UK on Saturday, 27 May
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Passport e-gates have failed at all airports across the country, the Home Office has said.
The issue is affecting travellers arriving in the UK and the system is said to have gone down overnight. One passenger at Gatwick Airport told BBC that it was an “absolute joke”.
Lucy Morton, from the Immigration Services Union, warned that queues would build “very, very quickly”. It comes after BA cancelled flights on Friday (26 May) causing travel woes for people jetting off for the bank holiday.
She told BBC Radio 4: “You end up putting all the passengers through physically-manned officer desks. Staff can’t take the breaks that they should be taking ... the whole thing will snowball very quickly.
“It will build queues and that in itself builds its own set of problems. People becomes frustrated, they take it out on the staff. All of this will cascade during the day.”
Airports issue statements
Heathrow Airport in a tweet wrote: “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.”
Manchester Airport added: “There is a nationwide issue impacting all UK Border Force e-Gates, which means passengers need to be processed manually at immigration. This may result in longer waiting times for passengers.
“Our team is working with UK Border Force to support their operations and minimise disruption. We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this time and apologise for any impact caused to your journey.”
More to follow.