Birmingham businessman rages at 'ridiculous' airport gridlock

An outraged Birmingham passenger spoke of the chaos at Heathrow Airport as angry crowds ignored passport queues after waiting for hours at border controls.

Malfunctioning security barriers created a weekend jam at the airport, ignoring social distancing guidelines as hundreds of passengers were forced into passport control.

Chaos broke out and some indignant travelers were knocked to the ground after trying to jump over barriers mirror Reports.

The startling scenes followed the early introduction of a travel ban on all flights from Dubai to the UK, with some passengers reportedly waiting up to three hours to arrive.

Adnan Raza, 34, from Birmingham said he was in Dubai for business meetings with two others from the UK. They had returned on a flight via Frankfurt.

He claimed, “We’re coming to Heathrow and the mood is very boring. There is absolutely no social distancing, it’s ridiculous. They monitor how well you wear your mask, i. H. Above your nose.

“I’ve seen this on other passengers, but when you are in the passport control lines, everyone is on top of each other. Despite the signs, there is no action. People don’t read that stuff. It is not enforced. “

He added, “Customs officers don’t even check the passenger search forms, there’s a QR code on the damn thing, no one scans it, they just look at it. Mine wasn’t even checked, period. “

Mr Raza said he managed to get through the chaos before the automated passport machines were packed.

He added, “Behind me the machines stopped working and there was a little mutiny. People jumped over the barriers of the automated machines. There was hand-to-hand combat … security calmed the situation down. “

Other passengers have also opted for social media to blast the lines and lack of social distancing.

One wrote: “Two immigration officers for British citizens at the Heathrow border control for 300 people. One of them has been dealing with a couple for 20 minutes. Unacceptable.”

Another scared tweet: “Worst passport control ever !! 2nd time and the same. More than 2 hours 30 people cannot pass passport control! The officer has just left the desk and nobody has replaced him! More than 2 hours, 30 people I have never seen such poor service anywhere in the world! “

The airport accused the UK government and Border forces for the jams.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “Long lines at the border shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Home Office.

“We warned the Home Secretary last year that Border Force consistently failed to meet its 45-minute queuing standard, and it has been clear since last week that no adequate steps have been taken to address these issues.”

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“While our teams are available to support the Border Force, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the right processes and resources are in place.

“It is not sensible if it is not necessary that an airport has room for incoming passengers for up to three hours. The Ministry of the Interior has to deal with this problem.”

Emma Moore, Chief Operating Officer at Border Force replied, “We are in a global health pandemic, which is why every traveler at UK airports is under increased surveillance in line with border health measures.

“People should not travel unless strictly necessary and any significant verification from pre-flight testing to passenger location form and route suspension is to strengthen our borders and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the UK. We aim to verify 100% of the forms.

“We will never compromise on border security and will continue to perform our important role of border security and deploy additional officers to provide assistance if necessary.

“Every airport across the UK has a responsibility to comply with local social distancing and Covid-compliant measures.”


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