BA blasts Heathrow and UKBA over delays

by William ASTON on February 17, 2012

Many half-term holidaygoers returning to Britain will be forced to wait a number of hours to pass through immigration, a development that has seen London Heathrow officials and the UK border Agency criticised by British Airways.

Ever since this morning, huge queues have been increasing at London Heathrow as staff there struggle to handle the high volume of passengers. The UK Border Agency, currently the controller of the immigration process, has had the finger pointed at it by British Airways for running with severe shortages of staff – a key factor in long queues building up while passengers disembark aircraft.
Airline bosses and airport officials fear that flights might soon need to be diverted to British destinations other than London in an attempt to ease the congestion at Heathrow, which is the UK’s largest airport. Chaotic scenes have already been reported at BA’s main base – Terminal 5- where long queues have been building ever since Friday morning.

A spokesman representing BA said that officials at Heathrow Airport and those organising the UK Border Agency should understand why Terminal 5’s immigration area is congested. It has been admitted by the UKBA that exceptional amounts of people making their way through immigration at Heathrow has resulted in unexpected delays and that everything is being done to secure extra resources.

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