(London) A computer glitch affecting the automated passport control system created major delays on Saturday for travelers arriving at UK airports.
On social networks, many travelers have complained of having had to wait several hours before being able to pass immigration controls, in the middle of the long weekend.
London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports have cited a nationwide issue affecting UK Border Police ‘e-gates’, which allow automated passage through checks.
Additional staff have been deployed to manage queues and assist passengers.
In the early evening, the British Home Office assured that the problem was solved.
“Following the technical fault in the border system which affected entry into the UK via e-gates, we can confirm that all e-gates are now operating normally,” the department said.
The UK has over 270 e-gates across 15 facilities. They are available to travelers over the age of 12, whether they are British, EU nationals or several other countries (including Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan or the United States).
Long queues had also been reported on Saturday morning to board the cross-Channel ferries at the port of Dover due to a computer problem at passport control at the French border.
This one has been “resolved,” the port tweeted, estimating midday wait times of 30 to 45 minutes, compared to 90 minutes in the morning.
The disruptions come after the airline British Airways had to cancel numerous flights — 175 according to the British agency PA — between Thursday and Friday due to a technical problem.