Nationwide issue with Border Force e-gates cause disruption at UK airports 

Sam Morter / X

Thousands of passengers were left stuck in long queues after passport e-gates at major UK airports suffered a nationwide outage on May 7, 2024. 

According to the UK Home Office, a wider system network issue was detected at 19:44 local time and a “large scale” contingency response was activated within six minutes. All e-gates were back online shortly after midnight.

The Home Office also said there was “no indication” of malicious activity behind the outage and border security was not compromised.

E-gates use facial recognition to check a traveler’s identity and allow them to enter the country without having to be processed or spoken to by a Border Force officer.

During the outage, airport staff resorted to manually processing passengers. The incident came at a peak travel period with many travelers returning home from a long weekend. 

A number of passengers took to social media to upload photographs and video footage of the almost-five hour ordeal and the chaos experienced at airports across the country. 

Airports affected by the outage were London-Heathrow Airport (LHR), London-Gatwick Airport (LGW), London-Stansted Airport (STN), Edinburgh Airport (EDI), Birmingham Airport (BHX), Manchester Airport (MAN) and Bristol Airport (BRS). 

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