Half-term travel chaos threatened to engulf UK airports as electronic passport gates across the country failed nationwide.
All airports across the country using the gates are affected after a system crash on Friday, with passengers returning to the UK facing delays. The issue means those flying in are having their passports checked manually.
The home office said it was “working hard” to resolve the issue “as quickly as possible” but could not give a timeframe amid the threat of the issue “snowballing” as half-term looms.
“We are aware of a nationwide border system issue affecting arrivals into the UK,” a spokesman said.
“We are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and are liaising with port operators and airlines to minimise disruption for travellers.”
British travellers said Europeans in passport queues were “laughing at us” because of the e-gate failure.
Chris Lord wrote on Twitter: “Embarrassing. I was stuck in a queue for over an hour, after a two-hour delay.
“We are a joke, the Europeans in the queue were laughing at us. And the welcome you get from the people behind the desk is a disgrace, I would turn around and go home.”
The Daily Telegraph, London