By Local Democracy Reporter
PASSENGERS claim they had to wait up to two and a half hours to get through passport control at Stansted Airport.
According to the husband of one passenger who flew into the Essex airport at around 1.30pm yesterday (Thursday August 2), people were having to wait more than two hours to get through passport control.
Other passengers have been claiming long delays of 45 minutes also afflicted Stansted on August 1 and another passenger complained it took 90 minutes to get through passport control on July 24.
Children under 12 are not allowed to use the automatic gates and Mason Forbes, whose wife and children had been flying back from Germany, said: “There seems to be an issue with children under 12 – no-one tells you why. People had been separated to the left and right hand sides.
“The left was for those with e-passports and was free flowing but anyone with ID as opposed to a passport, and childen under 12 had to go to the right. They were stuck.”
With Brexit fast approaching, concerns have been raised about how long people might spend in queues at passport control.
Theresa May said said she wants dedicated passport lanes for UK citizens overruling Sajid Javid, who said it would cost too much and could also create longer waiting times.
However Mason said Stansted, which had around 20 lanes open of a possible 30 when his family landed, needed to be more prepared. The airport is asking for permission to increase the number of passengers it can handle a year from 35 million to 43 million.
He said: “It is already at its limit, never mind anyone changing anything.
“Unless they keep things moving , there will be log jams everywhere and there is not the capacity to deal with it.”
A London Stansted Airport spokesperson said: “London Stansted Airport’s £600 million transformation project will include a new arrivals hall which will open in 2020. This state of the art facility will include a larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas and will cater for the future growth in passenger numbers.”
A Home Office spokesperson refuted the claims of passengers and said: “Every effort is made to keep delays to a minimum, but we also have a duty to maintain the security of the UK border – which means checking 100 per cent of scheduled arriving passengers.