Delays at Birmingham Airport as passport e-gates go down

Passengers complain of delays at Birmingham Airport as passport e-gates go down across the country - latest advice from the airport here

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Passport control e-gates at Birmingham Airport have failed causing delays for passengers.

One person travelling this morning (Saturday, May 27) said it took them 35 minutes to get through to security. The issue is affecting airports across the UK - including Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow - after the system went down on Friday night (May 26).

The Home Office said it was working with airlines and port operators to “minimise disruption for travellers”. The fail at the electronic gates means that passengers have to queue to get their passports checked manually, which is causing delays.

With the bank holiday and half term underway, it is expected that Birmingham Airport will be busy. A spokesperson for Birmingham Airport said: “Due to a UK Border Force tech problem affecting all e-Gates at all airports across the country, arriving customers may experience longer waiting times. We are working with UKBF to minimise disruption.”

The e-gate system speeds up passport control by allowing some passengers to scan their own passports. The system uses facial recognition to verify a traveller’s identity and captures an image of the traveller as they pass through the gate.

One passenger at Birmingham Airport said: “I can confirm. 35 mins to get through immigration at Birmingham Airport last night.”

E-gates can be used by British citizens aged over 12 and those from the EU, as well as people from several other countries including Australia, Canada, the US, Japan and New Zealand. But all entry points retain manned security desks for other passengers and those who are unable to use the e-gates.

A Home Office spokesperson said they were aware of a "nationwide border system issue affecting arrivals into the UK. We are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and are liaising with port operators and airlines to minimise disruption for travellers." Earlier this week, British Airways was also hit by IT issues, affecting more than 20,000 passengers at Heathrow.