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Pictures taken from inside Manchester Airport at the weekend show conveyor belts overflowing with luggage and long queues to clear border control. It comes as the travel industry continues to face problems during the coronavirus pandemic as millions return from their holiday’s to chaos at airports.
Heathrow Airport on Friday night was the first to experience mayhem.
Now, images from Manchester Airport have shown travellers stuck queuing and conveyor belts overflowing with luggage.
Suitcases and bags were piled up on belts and the floor as hundreds of passengers waited at border control.
Taking to Twitter to explain the situation, one said: “It felt like we spent as long getting through border control at Manchester airport today than We did on actual holiday. Not good at all.”
“@manairport Do you really think it’s acceptable to have such inefficient border control systems at Manchester airport after the recent Heathrow farce? Hour long queues, zero ventilation and no social distancing whatsoever!” Another tweeted.
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: “We are aware that queues at the border this afternoon were longer than usual.
“Immigration checks are the responsibility of UK Border Force and we will review events with them to understand how these circumstances arose, and to ensure that passengers enjoy the best possible experience going forward.”
Manchester Airport recently underwent a £1billion transformation for Terminal 2 to become a “super terminal”.
It is the UK’s third largest airport and included a new immigration hall and arrivals hall, along with a 83 square metre digital screen to provide the latest information for passengers.
But the refurb was not equipped to deal with the influx of holidaymakers and COVID-19 paperwork.
It comes after many travellers took to social media to complain about Heathrow Airport.
“There are people collapsing in Terminal 5 Arrivals due to overcrowding and no ventilation. Some Covid secure measures…” One said on Twitter.
Another explained: “Horrendous kettling at Heathrow Terminal 5 arrivals tonight. No Border Force. No ventilation. No fire exits. No explanation. Held there for over an hour. People fainting. Panicked skeleton Heathrow ground team not knowing what to do.”
“@HeathrowAirport What’s the expected time spent at immigration for flights landing at 7 am ? Need to pick my brother but don’t wanna wait for 5 hours at the airport,” someone asked.
And Heathrow Airport’s official Twitter account replied to the tweet: “Hi there, unfortunately, we are unable to provide information in regards to immigration queue times on behalf of UK Border Force, who operate and manage our immigration halls.”
The Home Office disputed some passenger claims regarding the longest queue at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 being one hour and 15 minutes.
A spokesperson stated on Saturday long queues at Heathrow immigration checks were ‘unacceptable’, with the airport saying there had been a shortage of Border Force officers.
A Home Office spokesperson said previously: “Our utmost priority is protecting the safety and health of the public and we will never compromise on security, and on ensuring passengers are compliant with the current health measures.
“[This] means passengers will need to accept an increase in the time taken to cross the border.”
The need to complete coronavirus testing has increased the amount of checks passengers need to undergo before they can board their plane or re-enter the country.
Children under the age of 12 cannot use e-gates, which is said to have added to the queues.
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