A nationwide computer outage is causing lengthy delays for travelers at major UK airports, BA

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109970938Representative photo

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Representative photo

Travelers arriving at major British airports, including London’s Heathrow Airport, faced lengthy delays at immigration checks on Tuesday evening due to a nationwide computer glitch. The British Border Force announced early on Wednesday morning that the problem had been resolved.

“Border Force is currently experiencing a nationwide issue impacting passengers processed through the border,” Heathrow, the country’s largest airport, posted on social media at 9:15 p.m. local time.

The Home Office, responsible for the Border Force, said the problem had been resolved shortly after midnight, according to BBC News. At 2am on Wednesday, Heathrow officially confirmed the disruption had ended.

The Border Force explained that the outage started at around 7.50pm on Tuesday and affected eGates, automated systems that speed up the processing of arriving passengers. Despite the disruption, the agency assured that there was no evidence of a cyber attack and that border security remained uncompromised during the incident.

Several other airports in the United Kingdom reported similar problems during the outage, including Manchester Airport, Gatwick Airport near London and Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland. However, it is unclear how many airports in total have been affected.

Officials at Gatwick and Manchester airports said no flight delays or cancellations were related to the computer glitch. However, they worked with Border Force to help passengers facing long waits at immigration checkpoints.

Images shared on social media showed long, static queues at Heathrow Airport, with travelers waiting in front of signs reading ‘UK Border’. Passengers and airport staff faced challenging conditions while dealing with the delays.
The cause of the Border Force computer glitch is still under investigation. Authorities are expected to conduct a thorough assessment to prevent recurrence of similar disruptions in the future.

  • Published on May 9, 2024 12:01 PM IST

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