Frustrated holidaymakers reported some of the ‘longest passport control queues ever’ at Manchester Airport over the weekend.
Angry travellers took to social media claiming they were stuck in queues of up to 600 people, while others posted pictures showing lines snaking throughout terminals.
Some passengers said they waited around an hour-and-a-half to get through Border Force security controls.
On Sunday (July 31), Colin Owen told how he was stuck with two small children in a queue of around ‘500 to 600’ people in Terminal One, which then merged with another queue which also contained ‘hundreds’ of passengers.
Mr Owen, from Gatley, Greater Manchester, said: “It was the longest queue I had ever seen. We arrived and were made to wait 10 minutes or so to get off the plane. And then when we did we went straight into a massive queue. And then when we got to the front of that we started queueing again.”
Border Force, the immigration control department of the Home Office, are responsible for passport checks rather than staff at Manchester Airport.
Matt Lees, from Chorley, waited for almost an hour after landing at Terminal One from Faro on Sunday afternoon.
He said: “It wasn’t ideal with two children under three. We walked down the skyway straight into a queue of around 600 people, and after waiting for ages that queue merged with another. There must have been more than 1,000 people waiting altogether.
“One man confronted a Border Force guy that was walking around and he said that it was world events which caused the delays but when we did get to the front they checked our passports at the same speed as always.
“I think that they were understaffed which is ridiculous when you consider how many flights are arriving at this time of year.”
Sharon Ma added on Twitter: “Landed at 3.15pm and took 1.5hrs to get out the airport. @manairport sort your passport control queues out!!! #Manchesterairport #nightmare”
Manchester Airport replied: “Hi Sharon, we’re sorry to hear this. We are currently working with Border Force to improve passport control.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: "Keeping this country safe and secure is a top priority, which is why we undertake 100 per cent checks on everyone arriving in the UK.
“When very large amounts of passengers arrive in a short space of time, it can mean a longer wait while these essential border security checks are conducted.
“Whilst a huge amount of work goes into keeping disruption and delays for passengers to a minimum, our first priority will always be maintaining the security of our borders.”