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E-gates ‘back online’ after chaos at Heathrow and other UK airports

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the technical outage affecting UK Border Force e-gates at several UK airports, leading to delays and long queues for passengers on Tuesday.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Nationwide Technical Outage

1. What caused the technical outage affecting UK Border Force e-gates?

  • The Home Office announced that a "system network" problem brought the e-gates down at 7:44 pm on Tuesday. There was no indication of malicious cyber activity, and border security was not compromised.

2. Which airports were affected by the technical outage?

  • Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, and Bristol airports all confirmed problems with passengers being processed through the border on Tuesday evening.

3. How did the airports and authorities respond to the outage?

  • Heathrow airport's Twitter/X account said all systems were running as usual shortly after midnight.
  • Manchester airport said a dedicated team and customer services staff were supporting passengers while UK Border Force fixed the problem.
  • The Home Office announced that the e-gates came back online shortly after midnight.

4. How did the technical outage impact passengers?

  • Passengers experienced long queues and delays at passport control due to the e-gate issues.
  • Some passengers reported being held at arrivals for over an hour, with the queues only getting bigger.
  • One passenger said their taxi had canceled, and they were worried they would be too late for a train.
  • Another passenger said their daughter had been waiting in a queue for over 2 hours after a 12-hour flight.

[02] Additional Travel Disruptions

1. What other travel disruptions were passengers facing?

  • Passengers were already facing disrupted journeys to and from airports due to industrial action affecting train services across the UK throughout the week until Saturday.
  • Gatwick airport advised people to plan their journey in advance and leave additional time due to limited or canceled train services to and from the airport.
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