Airports and ports have warned travellers to expect delays on arrival to the UK today as immigration and customs officers join co-ordinated public sector strike action.
Passengers have been advised to consider travelling on a different day to avoid disruption as hundreds of staff walk out. The strikes are effecting operations at airports as some UK Border Agency staff due to start shifts at 6pm last night failed to show up to work.
However, travellers leaving the UK will not be affected because departing passengers come into contact with security staff employed by airports who will not be taking industrial action.
Travel Counsellors is running a special one-day activity day for children due to the strike by teachers which is expected to affect 85% of schools to allow its homeworkers to take calls on what is expected to be one of the busiest days in June due to it being pay day.
Eurostar said services through the Channel Tunnel would not be affected by the strike. The company is running two extra trains today – one from London to Paris, the other from Paris to London, to cope with expected extra demand.
A statement on the Heathrow website said: “Due to strike action by UK Border Agency staff at all UK airports, passengers arriving at Heathrow are likely to experience a longer wait time at passport control.
“We are working with UK Border Agency to minimise delays to passengers and flights. This website will be updated with the latest information for passengers if the situation changes.”
A Virgin spokesman said: “Virgin Atlantic is working closely with the UK Border Agency to support their contingency planning and minimise disruption to our customers. We will keep our passengers informed of the situation through text messages, advice at check-in and onboard announcements.”
EasyJet said it was “difficult to predict” what would happen today but warned passengers to take the strike into consideration on onward journeys from their arrival airport.
“While the circumstances are outside of the airline’s control, easyJet apologises for any inconvenience and would like to reassure passengers that we are doing everything possible to minimise the disruption.”
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