Airport queues build amid 'nationwide issue' with passport e-gates

A passenger places his passport onto an e-gate scanner - a nationwide system went down over the weekend but is now back online
A passenger places his passport onto an e-Gate scanner -Credit:PA

A “nationwide issue” with Border Force e-gates caused significant disruption at airports across the country on Tuesday night (May 7). Images and footage shared on social media appeared to show long queues forming at the gates, which scan passports.

The photos showed the scene at Heathrow Airport, which confirmed the disruption in a statement. It apologised to passengers for any impact to their journeys.

The airport said: “Border Force is currently experiencing a nationwide issue which is impacting passengers being processed through the Border. Our teams are supporting Border Force with their contingency plans to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible and are on hand to provide passenger welfare.

A spokesperson for Stansted Airport said: “We are aware of an issue with UK Border Force’s systems across the country, affecting all UK airports. Our operational and customer service colleagues are supporting passengers while UK Border Force and the Home Office fix the issue.”

The disruption comes after Border Force workers staged a four-day strike at Heathrow in a dispute over working conditions last week. The union said the workers were protesting against plans to introduce new rosters they claim will see around 250 of them forced out of their jobs at passport control.