A computer glitch causing delays at UK airport have left passengers to experience disruption at a number of UK airports after an IT glitch affecting arrival halls. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Birmingham are among the airports which have seen lengthy queues forming after a fault on UK Border Force computers.
A spokesperson said security remained a “priority” but extra staff have been called in to try and reduce the delays. The delays are said to be having a particular impact on non-EU passengers.
A traveller waiting at Heathrow Terminal 5 contacted the BBC at 19:20 BST to say EU passengers were waiting for between 30 and 40 minutes to pass through passport control.
On Twitter, another passenger at Heathrow, Matt Keep, said queues were forming because all passengers entering the UK were having to be processed by Border Force staff.
The computer problems appeared to leave the self-service electronic passport gates for EU passengers – which operate by running a facial recognition check against a traveller’s passport – out of order.
At Gatwick, Chris Hyland, from Islington in north London, said international passengers had been told to expect a wait of up to four hours.
“The international queue is pretty huge, so people have already started sitting down because they know they will be there for a long, long time,” he said.
The Border Force spokesperson said: “We are currently experiencing temporary IT problems which may add to the time taken to conduct passport checks.
“We are working to rectify this issue and are providing extra staff to get passengers through the controls as quickly as possible. Our priority remains security of the border.” A spokesman for Heathrow Airport said: “There are some longer queues than normal in the terminals, but we have spoken to border force and they are putting on extra staff.
“Obviously we want to sort the issue out but not risk the integrity of the border controls.”
Meanwhile, a Birmingham Airport spokesman said: “We are aware [of the glitch] and the impact it is having at the moment.
“It appears to be getting progressively worse but we are hoping it will be sorted out soon.”
A Gatwick spokesman said there should not be any delays to flights leaving UK airports.
Manchester Airport said queues had gone down after some passengers experienced a small delay