HUNDREDS of passengers were forced to queue for two hours in a room with ‘no ventilation’ at Heathrow Airport today – with families slamming “barbaric” conditions.
Returning passengers led chants of “We want more staff” after a team of three were available to check passports at the UK’s busiest airport.
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Now Heathrow bosses have branded the situation “totally unacceptable” – but say they were powerless as the gates are controlled by UK Border Force.
Natalie Crane, 32, from Surrey, had arrived back from a holiday to Majorca with her husband, mother, and three young children when she was faced with a two-hour delay.
She told MailOnline: “We queued with about 500 or 600 people.
“There was no social distancing, no ventilation – it would have been impossible to socially distance that many people in the room.
“It was just barbaric.”
The London airport’s self-service E-gates were operating.
However, many families are unable to use them because of age restrictions for children.
It meant huge queues of Brits returning from summer holidays had to wait to see a border officer.
Natalie said: “After a while we found out there were only three people on the counters checking passports.
“Everyone started chanting ‘Get more staff, get more staff’ and ‘This a disgrace’. “
A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said the queues were “totally unacceptable”, but that Border Force have forecasting systems to help avoid passenger queues on arrival.
The Home Office has been approached for comment.
All flights at Heathrow are currently operating from Terminals 2 and 5 following the temporary relocation of airlines from Terminals 3 and 4.
The airport is expecting 280 plane arrivals across the two terminals today.