United Kingdom: long delays at airports due to a computer problem

A computer problem affecting the automated passport control system created significant delays for travellers arriving at UK airports on Saturday 27 May.

Passengers arrive at London's Heathrow Airport on Saturday, May 27, 2023. AP - Kin Cheung

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On social media, many travelers complained of having to wait several hours before being able to pass through immigration controls, in the middle of a long weekend.

London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports have cited a national problem affecting British border police's "e-gates", which allow automated checks. "Our teams are working closely with border police to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," Heathrow Airport said on its website, adding that additional staff have been deployed to manage queues and assist passengers.

The UK has more than 270 e-gates in 15 infrastructures. They are available for travellers over the age of 12, whether British, EU nationals or several other countries (including Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan or the United States).

Cancelled flights

The day before, the airline British Airways (BA) said in a statement to have canceled a hundred flights between Thursday and Friday at London's Heathrow airport following a technical problem. The company did not give a total number of cancelled flights. But according to the PA agency, which quotes the specialized company Cirium, 175 flights were canceled over two days by BA, which means that more than 20,000 passengers saw their trip disrupted.

Long queues were also reported on Saturday 27 May in the morning to board cross-Channel ferries at the port of Dover, in south-east England, due to a computer problem at passport control at the French border. It has been resolved, the port said on Twitter, estimating between 30 and 45 minutes the waiting time in the middle of the day, against 90 minutes in the morning.

>> READ ALSO: Germany: seven airports paralyzed by the strike of staff


With AFP)

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  • United Kingdom
  • Transport
  • Aeronautics