Now Stansted hit by passport chaos as border officials are accused of not employing enough staffPosted: May 6, 2012
- Hundreds of passengers delayed for up to two hours on Friday
- Officials accused of failing to ensure airport was sufficiently staffed for the bank holiday
By MAIL ON SUNDAY REPORTER
The chaos surrounding airport passport controls increased last night after border officials were accused of failing to employ enough staff to cope with the Bank Holiday rush at Stansted.
Sources at the busy Essex airport said hundreds of passengers were delayed for up to two hours at passport control on Friday night as thousands joined the holiday getaway.
A source said: ‘The reason for the delays was because there were not enough passport control desks open and not enough staff on duty.’
Controversy over border controls: The row is through to have spread from Heathrow, where queues of up to three hours were reported last week (file photo)
Not enough staff: Officials at Stansted (pictured) were accused of failing to sufficiently staff the airport for the Bank Holiday getaway
Passengers expressed their frustration on Twitter. Sophie Elliott said: ‘Last night at Stansted we were trapped in queues of over an hour – longer for the people behind us – cos “a few planes landed early”.’
The spread of the row from Heathrow – where queues of up to three hours were reported last week – comes amid controversy over border controls in the run-up to the Olympics.
More trouble is predicted this week at Heathrow, where immigration officials are due to stage a one-day strike in a row over pensions.
Willie Walsh, head of the International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways and Spanish operator Iberia, said last week that the UK’s reputation was being damaged by the chaos.
Promises: Immigration Minister Damian Green has pledged action to tackle the problem
Immigration Minister Damian Green has pledged action to tackle the problem.
A UK Border Force spokesman said last night: ‘We deploy staff to meet demand, meaning that the vast majority of passengers pass through immigration controls quickly.
‘We will not compromise security but work closely with airport operators to keep delays to a minimum.’