If you were planning to fly through one of the UK’s major airports recently, you might have found yourself in the middle of a pretty frustrating situation. Thousands of travellers were stuck in long queues for hours, and some even ended up sleeping on the airport floors. The reason? A “nationwide issue” caused the e-gates to fail at the UK’s largest airports.


What went wrong?

In short, the biometric passport control systems used in these e-gates glitched out.

According to the UK Government website, there are more than 270 e-gates at 15 key air and rail ports across the UK. These gates are supposed to make travel into the UK quicker and easier. If you have a biometric symbol on the cover of your passport, are aged ten and over, and are a British citizen or a national of an EU country, you can use the e-gates at the border.

As you can imagine, the problem with using the same system across multiple places is that if something happens to one of them, it usually affects all of them. This meant that major airports in places like Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, and Edinburgh were all hit by this glitch.

Thankfully, the e-gate glitch has been resolved now. However, the inconvenience it caused has left many travellers feeling cautious about relying on this technology in the future.

This isn’t a great look for these e-gate systems, as they’ve already raised concerns in the past, about the safety of the biometric data that they collect.


Moving forwards for UK Airports

The Home Office sent an email saying that the e-gates at UK airports were back online shortly after midnight. They assured everyone that border security was never compromised and there was no indication of any cyber-attack.

However, if you’re wondering about compensation due to the delays, I haven’t got the best news for you. As stated by the Border Force, since the “nationwide issue” was beyond the airline’s control, they’re not liable for compensation.

To sum it up, sometimes, things designed for convenience actually lead to inconvenience, the irony! However, the issue was handled quickly.

This also highlights an important realisation, of just how many people can be affected by a simple glitch. Not just airports either, businesses and companies can face long periods of downtime, if their IT systems shut down for example.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not only does this create a serious loss in profit that the business could’ve been making, but it also could lead to a loss in trust from their customers. Because of this, monitoring your IT Systems and Network is crucial in making sure nothing happens later down in the line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Be sure to stay up-to-date on our latest blog releases, ranging from IT News blogs to Knowledgebase articles. Thank you for reading!