Border Force shambles – part 33

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • SimonS1
    Participant

    Chaos as automated gates fail and there is no proper back up.

    Normally these meltdowns only happen on a Bank Holiday weekend….oh, hang on….

    https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2023-05-27/chaos-at-major-airports-as-electronic-passport-gates-go-into-meltdown

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    So everything normal!


    stevescoots
    Participant

    are you sure its 33? sure its 333 🙂


    Nick Pike
    Participant

    I must confess I’m not sure what “proper back up” might be. My understanding is that 80% of arriving passengers use the e Gates. So, if they fail, it’s pretty clear that the on duty staff (presumably allocated on the basis they will process only 20% of arrivals) won’t be able to cope. So unless you have a vast number of staff paid on standby just in case there is a failure- or you decide to let people in without checks- chaos is bound to ensue.

    This, of course, isn’t confined to Border Force. Any airport system- indeed any system generally- which relies on technology to replace staff won’t operate properly if suddenly there is no technology. There won’t be any staff either.

    The answer of course is to operate a system which doesn’t fail. Now if I knew how to do that…..


    stevescoots
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1364595]

    Agreed, i was stuck at the HK/SZ border car crossing point about 6 weeks ago for about 1.5 hours. The usually reliable HK system had gone down, worked fine for HKID holders but passport holders were stuck. eventually moving they were taking photos of passports and had to fill out the entry form (have not done that in years!), My guess to manually put the details in the system when it came back up


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Stepped of the aircraft (LHR T4) Sunday night 19.23, and standing on the Lizzy line platform at 19.40. Gremlins had moved from Border Force to Lizzy line where there were delays, but still got to Tottenham Court Road station by 20.15.

    Today it is the Jubilee Line to Wembley, come you Owls…!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    [quote quote=1364595]I must confess I’m not sure what “proper back up” might be.[/quote]

    Having all the manual desks open? Particularly now significant numbers of military are trained as a result of the strikes.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Nick Pike
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1364864]

    I think the problem is that you can’t just open the manual desks at the drop of a hat. Whilst the military were trained on the system for the recent BF strike, they had weeks of notice before they were deployed and were brought in from outside.They don’t just hang around at airports on the offchance- hence my comment that unless you have dozens of staff on standby, at a huge cost, there will be chaos


    SimonS1
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1364894]

    They don’t, but I would expect any semi competent organisation to be able to mobilise staff for the next day.


    Johnnyg
    Participant

    [quote quote=1364843]Today it is the Jubilee Line to Wembley, come you Owls…[/quote]

    Happy bunny then?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    [quote quote=1364937]MartynSinclair wrote:
    Today it is the Jubilee Line to Wembley, come you Owls…

    Happy bunny then?

    [/quote]

    YES YES YES 🙂

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Chris in Makati
    Participant

    So far, I haven’t seen any explanation as to what actually caused the e-gates to fail.

    At the time, the Home Office answer to questions was it’s “too sensitive to say”. So was it some kind of cyber hack, and if so by whom? Russia?, China?, North Korea?, or just a domestic hacker? Or was it just a fault in the system and they’re too embarrassed to admit it?


    huey
    Participant

    Have to agree with you, Nick. Technology provides us with such convenience, but when it ‘breaks’ there’s no speedy alternative. I see it as the price we pay for eliminating so many humans doing vital jobs.


    cybertravller
    Participant

    I find the UK e-gates very frustrating. It cannot read the chip in my passport, and the explanations I receive are varied from dodgy chip to a similar name to a wanted person. However, when I travelled through Amsterdam, the e-gates read the passport perfectly. I suspect the UK technology is just c**p


    Chris in Makati
    Participant

    The first time I tried to use the e-gates at Gatwick with a brand new passport issued last November the machine couldn’t read the chip. I tried two or three different gates and none could read it. So I was directed to the manned desk where the officer tried and his device couldn’t read it either. He told me that the new passports weren’t of very good quality and he wasn’t surprised.

    I wasn’t at all happy about that because I was faced with the prospect of having to queue at staffed immigration desks after every trip I take for the next ten years. I was ready to complain to the Passport Office as I’d just paid £85 for a defective passport.

    The next time I traveled the e-gates read it perfectly and have done so for each subsequent trip I took in the six months since then. I’ve no idea why things refused to work on that first day. I wonder if something in the system needs to be triggered to activate a new passport on first usage.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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