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Millions of Travelers Face Delays and Frustration During Busy Holiday Weekend

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This weekend was supposed to be very busy with people going on trips for the late May bank holiday. Many people planned to travel by car for leisure activities, and it was expected to be the busiest holiday weekend since 2019. However, things didn’t go as planned, and travelers faced a lot of problems, especially at airports. On Saturday, there were long lines and delays because the e-gate system, which helps people go through passport control quickly, stopped working in the whole UK.

The e-gate system failure affected airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, and others. This meant that many people had to wait for a long time because the system couldn’t process their passports automatically. The airport staff had to check each passport manually, and there weren’t enough people to do this quickly. Eventually, the problem with the e-gates was fixed on Saturday night, but there were still some flight issues that continued.

A well-known travel expert named Simon Calder, who was in Poland at the time, shared his experience with the situation. He said that although he faced some initial problems, his journey was mostly smooth once he managed to leave. Simon was originally supposed to fly with British Airways, but their computer system had a problem, so his flight was canceled. Fortunately, he was able to get a seat on the last flight to Prague on Friday night. Simon also explained that the e-gates work well for most people, except for those traveling with children under 12. If you are from the UK, EU, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, or South Korea, you can go through the e-gates quickly. These countries make up about 70% of travelers.

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Looking ahead, there were concerns about the conditions of the roads and trains. Because the weather was good and it was half-term holidays for many students, a lot of people were expected to travel by car. Experts had already warned that there would be 19 million more car journeys than usual. This would especially affect the roads leading to popular vacation spots. On top of that, there were planned strikes by train workers, which would cause even more disruption for travelers.

The strikes were scheduled to happen on Wednesday, May 31st, and Saturday, June 3rd. They would affect many train operators, including Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express. Additionally, the RMT union planned to strike from Friday onwards. This meant that there would be problems with train services from late Tuesday evening until Sunday morning. People were advised to check if their trains were running before they traveled, except for those living in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, where trains were expected to operate normally.

As the bank holiday weekend continued, it became clear that the combination of the e-gate system failure, ongoing flight issues, rail strikes, and increased traffic would cause a lot of problems for travelers. It was important for people to stay updated about the situation and plan their journeys carefully, knowing that there could be delays and disruptions in different modes of transportation.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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