Furious travellers slam 'quarter mile-long' immigration queues at Heathrow and Stansted

22 March 2022, 16:17 | Updated: 22 March 2022, 16:20

Crowds gathered at Stansted airport too.
Crowds gathered at Stansted airport too. Picture: Twitter/Liam Byrne

By Emma Soteriou

Furious passengers have criticised "nightmare" passport control queues in Heathrow and Stansted, with thousands caught in the travel chaos.

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Travellers shared images of the enormous queues on social media, with a politician saying he had been caught in a quarter-mile long queue.

MP Liam Byrne also highlighted that similar issues had also occurred at Stansted airport. Pictures of long queues first emerged on Saturday and the issue appears to have been ongoing intermittently until today.

One holidaymaker said the never-ending queues were "soul-crushing" while others highlighted that the elderly were among those suffering for hours as they awaited their turn to get through.

It comes days after all Covid rules for visitors to the uk were lifted, meaning passenger locator forms and Covid tests are no longer needed for those entering the country.

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One Twitter user said: "The immigration queues at Heathrow Airport are once again a nightmare with passengers (including a few elderly) on their feet for hours.

"Will this structural issue at the #borderforce ever be properly addressed?"

Another Twitter user said: "Worst queue I have ever seen at any airport at Terminal 5 - seems over 100m long just to get to the main immigration area where there will be more queuing.

"What is going on?"

Meanwhile, Tory Lord Benyon tweeted: "In a queue about a quarter of a mile long at Heathrow. No one telling us about what the problem is. No staff on hand at all.

"Welcome to Britain."

He later added: "Is anyone from [British Airways or Heathrow Airport] or border force going to tell the thousands queueing at Terminal 5 anything?

"I am embarrassed that for so many this is the first experience of UK. Shambles."

Heathrow replied to Twitter posts from disappointed travellers saying: "We are aware of longer immigration queues, due to the increase of passengers. 

"Border Force are working hard to process passengers. Thank you for your patience."

Stansted responded to complaints saying it was "sharing all feedback with Home Office's Border Force, who manage the Immigration process" and would "be working with them to ensure that passengers enjoy the best possible experience going forward".

According to the Mail, a spokesman for Heathrow added: "We are currently experiencing some delays processing passengers through the UK border in T5.

"Our teams are on-hand supporting passengers in the immigration halls and we are working with Border Force to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

"We apologies for any inconvenience caused."