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British passport e-gate failure causes delays at airports

May 28, 2023

London [UK], May 28: Failures with the passport e-gate system at British airports are causing long delays for those arriving in the country as the bank holiday getaway gets under way.
Travellers have described on social media queues of several hours at a number of airports including Heathrow and Gatwick as arrivals need to have their passports checked by hand rather than the automated machines.
The problems come as millions are expected to take to the roads and public transport this weekend. One traveller arriving at Heathrow posted on Twitter: "Just landed to scenes of utter chaos. 2 hour queues just to get to the real queue.
Gates broken."
Another passenger at Gatwick described the situation as an "utter joke".
A Gatwick Airport spokesman said the problem started on Friday evening but queues had eased on Saturday morning.
He said: "Some passengers may experience delays at immigration due to a nationwide issue with UK Border Force e-gates.
"Our staff are working with UK Border Force - who operate passport control including the e-gates - to provide assistance to passengers where necessary."
Heathrow Airport posted on Twitter: "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 Home Office spokeswoman said that the Border Force had put in place "robust plans" to deploy officers to minimise disruption and wait times.
Source: Qatar Tribune