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8 May, 2024 02:49

UK airports paralyzed by nationwide system outage (VIDEOS)

A glitch in the automated check-in systems caused travel chaos across the country
UK airports paralyzed by nationwide system outage (VIDEOS)

Airports across the UK were struck with delays on Tuesday evening after a nationwide “technical issue” triggered a UK Border Force electronic systems glitch for more than four hours.

Videos shared online show long lines as services slowed to a crawl. Some customers complained that the lines were straining the facilities, reportedly leaving some customers without adequate water and toilet access. Other clips show blank screens at the eGates.

Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, and Edinburgh airports confirmed problems with the Border Force system, which resulted in long delays for travelers on Tuesday, British state broadcaster the BBC wrote.

The system network issue was detected at 7:44pm on Tuesday, the Home Office said in a statement on Wednesday. “E-gates at UK airports came back online shortly after midnight,” they announced, adding that “at no point was border security compromised and there is no indication of malicious cyber activity.”

There are over 270 eGates across UK airports and rail stations, according to the government website. They normally allow for fast service using facial recognition for UK and EU citizens, among others. However, Belfast airport, which doesn’t have eGates, also saw its Border Force systems impacted, according to the broadcaster.

This is not the first time IT issues have brought the UK’s airports to a stand-still. In August last year, an air traffic control meltdown caused by a glitch in the computerized flight planning system led to 1,500 flights being canceled. Over 700,000 passengers were impacted overall, the UK Civil Aviation Authority estimated in March.