Passenger’s fury over ‘ridiculous’ airport passport control queues

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The passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, returned from Palma on September 4, and landed at Belfast International Airport at 2.30pm. However, they did not leave the terminal until 4.05pm, after being “gridlocked” in queues at passport control.

They said it is “embarrassing” to return home to an airport that “can’t cope with demand.”

They told Belfast Live: “As soon as we got off the plane the queue was off the tarmac and we didn’t understand what the hold up was.

“We were trying to get up the stairs and it was just gridlocked.

“It was just a standstill and total chaos down each of the corridors into the terminal from the plane.

“The bathrooms were out of order and there were children screaming, and it was just chaotic.”

After hearing from a member of staff that delays were due to a couple of flights coming in at similar times, the passenger added they were not told how long they could be waiting for.

They said it is frustrating to see long waiting times to get through the airport, and that after returning from holiday it dampens spirits.

They added: “A member of staff at the border area mentioned it had been hectic from 1pm.

“What really bothers me is every time you come back from holiday, you arrive into the International Airport and each time it just gets worse and worse, and grimmer and grimmer.

“Last time we were away, it was just our flight arriving and it took 40 minutes for our flight to get cleared through security.

“It’s ridiculous coming back from your holidays and it just makes you miserable. I’ve been to airports all around the world and it’s nothing like this.

“By the time we got through and got our bags collected, it was 4.05pm.

“We were standing all that time in queues not knowing how long we would be, with nobody around to let us know how long things would take or how busy it would be.

“The fact the queue was hardly moving, it was crawling at best. It’s just grim for a big airport and it needs to be addressed.”

Border Force is a law enforcement command within the Home Office that carries out immigration and passport controls for UK airports.

A spokesperson for Border Force said all queues on Sunday, September 4, were within tolerance levels.

They said they work closely with port operators, stakeholders and carriers to ensure arriving passengers or traffic is managed in a way to ease efficient flows through the border.

In a statement, they said: “Border Force’s number one priority is to maintain a secure border, and we will not compromise on security.

“We are working closely with Belfast International Airport to ensure passengers have the smoothest possible journey.”

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