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‘E-gates down’: Major travel disruption at UK airports



Long delays are breaking out at airports across the UK after the border force e-gate system was hit by a major glitch.

Airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Manchester all confirmed a UK Border Force problem was causing delays late on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST), the BBC reports.

E-gates are automated gates that use facial recognition technology to check a person’s identity and allow them to enter the country without talking to a Border Force officer.

Heathrow airport and other UK airports have been hit by a major technical glitch impacting passengers. (AAP)

Photos on social media showed long queues in front of the gates at the airports. Some passengers posted messages how “e-gates are down”.

The airports said they were working with the Border Force to “minimise disruption”.

The UK Home Office, which manages Border Force, said it was working with the agency and impacted airports to “resolve the issue as soon as possible and apologise to all passengers for the inconvenience caused.”

It has not provided any further details about the technical fault or how it occurred.

Passenger Harmeet Singh, who arrived at Stansted Airport in London, told The Independent the situation was “complete madness” with no one in charge.

Another passenger said he landed at Manchester Airport and faced “huge queues” for passport control and was told the terminal’s e-gates were down.

Heathrow, the UK’s largest airport, apologised to passengers for the delays to journeys and said it was supporting Border Force “with their contingency plans”.

“Border Force is currently experiencing a nationwide issue which is impacting passengers being processed through the Border,” an airport spokesperson said.

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