Over the bank holiday weekend, passengers at Stansted Airport were subjected to queues of up to two hours. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just disgruntled travellers that were unhappy either, a spokesman for the airport deemed the wait Ã¢â‚¬Å“unacceptably longÃ¢â‚¬Â too.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The majority of passengers arriving at Stansted pass through border controls quickly and securely,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, at peak times, and similar to many other UK airports, immigration queues can be unacceptably long.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We recognise that maintaining strong border security is a priority but we also want to see sufficient resources available to meet passenger demand and keep delays to a minimum at the busiest times.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our customer service teams work closely with the UK Border Force to help manage queues and assist passengers at peak times but we believe further action is needed to address the issue as a matter of urgency.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Government previously admitted that there is a problem with passport control delays at Heathrow, with the Home Secretary, Theresa May, facing increasing criticism regarding the lengthening queues.
However the UK Border Agency insists that they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t relax security, saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“We flexibly deploy staff to meet demand, meaning that the vast majority of passengers pass through immigration controls quickly. We will not compromise border security but work closely with airport operators to keep delays to a minimum.Ã¢â‚¬Â
None of this is going to make the passengers caught in the delays feel any better though. Some aired their discontent to the BBC while others vented their frustration on Twitter.
With concerns growing about the UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to deal with the 2012 Olympics, something certainly needs to be done. Immigration Minister, Damian Green, has accepted that the long waits are in breach of Border Force targets and pledged action to deal with the problem, but we will have to wait and see whether a solution will be found in time.
Were you caught in any of the delays?