June 19, 2024

At airports and ports – Great Britain: long lines due to IT breakdowns at passport control – News


IT problems with eGates at London and Manchester airports and at the port of Dover are forcing travelers to wait hours.

Electronic passport control has been disabled at British airports since Friday evening. Passengers must be prepared for hours of waiting when entering Great Britain. The BBC reports that IT problems with so-called electronic gates are currently occurring at London Heathrow and Gatwick airports as well as Manchester.

A spokeswoman for the Border and Customs Workers union told the BBC that long queues would form “very quickly”. Depending on the airport, 60 to 80 percent of travelers pass through electronic passport control. Passports must now be scanned manually, which takes much more time.

As the BBC reported, there was chaos at times in front of the passport control checkpoints. People got very frustrated and some tried to avoid the queues and climbed over the barriers, so the police had to intervene. Many complained that they did not receive any information.

Problems also in the English Channel

Also in the port of Dover, there were previously IT problems with control when leaving Great Britain. France’s passport control system was temporarily down Saturday morning, causing queues.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) quoted a spokesman for the British Home Office as saying on Saturday, “We are working to solve the problem as soon as possible and we are in contact with port operators and airlines to reduce disruption to travelers.”

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British Airways had to cancel flights at London’s Heathrow airport again ahead of the Pentecost weekend due to IT issues. Communications within Great Britain and Europe were particularly affected.