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Video: Gate Crashers: E-Gates cause nationwide airport mayhem

A technical issue with e-gates at ports and airports across the UK has led to scenes of chaos and extensive queues at the country’s borders. The problem emerged late on Friday, resulting in the suspension of e-gate operations and the need for all passengers to be processed through staffed airport desks.

Saturday proved to be a particularly challenging day at UK airports as glitches in the passport e-gate system caused significant delays for arriving passengers. The timing of the issue coincided with a busy weekend, with a bank holiday overlapping a school holiday, further exacerbating the situation.

Frustrated travelers took to social media to express their dissatisfaction, sharing their experiences of being stuck in long queues at border control in airports for hours. The disruption impacted numerous ports of entry, affecting airports nationwide.

Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest in the UK, acknowledged the issue through its social media accounts. In a statement, they said, “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 apologize for any impact this is having on passenger journeys.”

Fortunately, as of 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, the e-gates have been restored to operation, bringing some relief to the stranded travelers. However, it is expected that it will take some time to clear the backlog and return to normal operations.

The UK Border Force and airport authorities are now conducting an investigation into the cause of the e-gate failure to prevent similar incidents in the future. Enhancing the reliability and efficiency of the e-gate system will be crucial to ensuring smoother border control processes and minimizing disruptions for travelers.

Passengers are advised to stay updated with airport announcements and allow extra time for any potential residual delays caused by the earlier e-gate outage.

While the e-gate issue has been resolved, the frustration and inconvenience caused to travelers during this busy period will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact.

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