Last Night – Heathrow Airport descends into fresh immigration chaos: Telegraph

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Aviation & Airports (General News), Heathrow
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[Telegraph Travel] Passengers returning to Heathrow faced delays of more than two hours last   night as the Border Force struggled once again to struggled to cope.

Image taken by passenger Christian Parkinson last night as passengers queued for passport control at Heathrow Terminal 5

Image taken by passenger Christian Parkinson last night as passengers queued for passport control at Heathrow Terminal 5

This was the second night in succession that the airport descended into chaos because of a shortage of immigration staff.

Worst hit was Terminal 5, the £4.3 billion showcase and base for British Airways, but severe delays were also reported elsewhere at Heathrow.

Airport and airlines were forced to order taxis to help travellers get home because many were unable to clear immigration before public transport shut  down for night.

The difficulties faced by passengers, some of whom described the chaos as “omni-megashambles”,   were compounded by the failure of some of the automatic gates.

Passengers from the UK and the European Economic Area had to spend at least an hour queuing, nearly three times the target set by the UK Border Agency.

Those from other countries, including the United States, were forced to wait more than two hours.

Among the thousands of arriving travellers were Jamie Murray, the tennis star and brother of British No 1 Andy, and Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street communications director.

One passenger, who declined to be named, waited more than an hour to get through passport control at Heathrow T5 after returning from Paris on business.

He said the line for “non EU citizens” was even longer as hundreds of frustrated passengers waited to enter the country just after 11pm.

“I was so angry,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“It is terrifying, when you think about the Olympics and the crowds, this was just a regular Thursday night with a bit of rain.

“They were clearly expecting this as they had set up all these extra barriers up and down the corridor. They knew this was……

Read the full story at The Telegrapgh…..


By David Millward and Andrew Hough
27 Apr 2012


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