Chaos at Heathrow Airport as 2,000 Brits queue but only 4 border staff on duty
Heathrow Airport was thrown into chaos last night following the closure of multiple e-gates which caused 90 minute-long queues.
It is understood that only four Border Force officials were left attempting to get through 2,000 queuing passengers through the Terminal 5 passport hall last night, Daily Mail reports.
One flyer who was trapped in the delays said the situation was 'ridiculous', while another disgruntled passenger said it was 'totally unacceptable'.
Twitter was ignited with criticism of the lack of staff manning the terminal last night.
One user said: "Hi Heathrow. Is it because of the pingdemic that there’s thousands at border control and maybe 3 staff checking us in?!
"By my calculations I’m here until 2am. There’s babies toddlers & elderly in the queue.
"There is a palette of water cans in the middle of the queue where people go help themselves as they go since we’re all here for hours.
"Kids crying. The occasional shouts for opening more gates. People about to miss their connections. It’s such a s***show.
"No e gates tonight of course. This is dumb."
In a final follow up tweet they said: "'MADE IT. Only 1h45 in a queue that could have been completely avoided with proper staffing."
Another wrote: "So many people – including elderly and young children waiting for the border police to check their documents…. why there not more officers here?
"Totally unacceptable for an airport like Heathrow. This is so late now, hope to catch the last train.'
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It is unclear why the e-gates were shut in the terminal last night.
But Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy last night tweeted that he had been told by a Border Force officer the new gates had not been updated to reflect new travel rules bought in as part of 'Freedom Day'.
Heathrow responded to another Twitter user complaining about the queues to assure they were 'working with border force to reduce queuing times'.
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This comes shortly after the Telegraph last week reported a staff shortage at the airport due to a mass amount of 'pings' by the NHS Covid App.
The Border Force team were down to just 120 security members last Monday due to self-isolation, according to the paper.
Disgruntled passengers were forced to queue for up to 150 minutes due to the lack of staff.
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