Border control ‘e-gates down’ sparking huge queues and nationwide chaos at UK airports

British airports have been thrown into turmoil tonight after Border Control’s passport e-gates appeared to stop working, sparking huge queues at several airports, including Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester

Border Control ‘e-gates down’ were down at Manchester Airport due to a reported technical issue

Major airports across the UK are in chaos after a fault reportedly involving Border Force passport e-gates.

The problem is affecting the e-gates system at a number of airports, including Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester. It has not yet been confirmed how many airports are affected.

There have been reports of an unspecified technical issue affecting the system. The UK Border Force has been approached for comment.

Images shared on social media show long lines of holidaymakers trying to return to the UK on Tuesday evening. One passenger at Heathrow airport described a scene of chaos at the airport as “thousands” of people were forced to wait at border control. He wrote on social media: “Computer outage at Heathrow border control. A few thousand people in line and not a single person at Heathrow is able to figure out a solution.”

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Long queues were also seen at Heathrow, where staff told passengers it was a ‘nationwide’ problem

Passports are being checked manually at Manchester, according to the Manchester Evening News. One person at Stansted said on social media: “Border control e-gates not working at Stansted due to computer problem. Fail over either not working or non-existent. Another warm welcome to the UK at a broken airport.” At Heathrow, it was claimed by one passenger that “every single E-Gate” is not working.

Airports have said they have deployed staff to help passengers during the disruption. On Tuesday evening, Heathrow AIrport told customers on X that they were “supporting Border Force with their contingency plans to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible and we apologize for any impact to your journey”. Staff are said to have told passengers at the airport – some of whom reported waiting for longer than an hour at the gates – that it was a “nationwide” problem, and began handing out water.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “We are aware of an issue with UK Border Force’s systems across the country, affecting a significant number of airports. Our Resilience Team and customer services colleagues are supporting passengers while UK Border Force and the Home Office fix the issue .”

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