Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024
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Stansted Airport chaos as ‘three passengers faint’ as ‘e-gates down’ | UK | News


Passengers reportedly fainted and bags began to pile up as issues with e-gates caused chaos at airports across the nation.

Issues with Border Force e-gates were first reported on Tuesday evening, with problems at London Stansted, Heathrow, Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Manchester.

The Home Office, which has oversight of Border Force, said it was working with the agency to try and resolve issues “as soon as possible” and apologised to passengers affected.

Passengers at airports however have complained of large queues, a lack of water, and even people passing out as they wait to get through passport control.

Writing on social media, one passenger at Standsted said: “E-gates have stopped working at several UK airports. Here at Stanstead I’ve seen three people fainting.

“It’s too hot, too crowded and no water is being provided. We’ve been here for over 2 hours on top of the previous hour thousands of us spent stuck on our airplanes.”

A second said: “People passing out at Stansted passport queue.”

A third passenger said: “System failure at Stansted airport. No plan in place and just a mass of people waiting.”

While a fourth added: “No plan for kids, people with disabilities, elderly. Need for toilet, water ect. starting to be obvious. People getting restless.”

One person simply described the scenes inside the airport as “carnage”.

Others reported their planes had landed at the airport only for them to be told to remain on the aircraft.

Writing on social media, a spokesman for Stansted said: “UK Border Force is experiencing nationwide issues affecting eGates at a number of airports including London Stansted.

“Our teams are supporting Border Force staff to minimise the disruption to passengers while they fix the problem.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time and thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Express Online has approached London Standsted for further comment.

Elsewhere Heathrow Airport reported the gates were functional shortly after 1am.

The e-gates are said to be fully automated and use facial recognition to let people through, meaning they can enter the country without talking to a Border Force official.

There are more than 270 gates in place at 15 air and rail ports across the UK. The Government says they are designed to “enable quicker travel into the UK”.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of a technical issue affecting e-gates across the country.

“We are working closely with Border Force and affected airports to resolve the issue as soon as possible and apologise to all passengers for the inconvenience caused.”



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