Passport controllers have walked out to join the biggest strike for more than five years.
Brits are likely to face delays if arriving back in the UK today, the strike began last night when Border Agency staff did not turn up for work at airports around the country – leading to long queues at passport control.
To keep up with the flow of incoming travellers, managers attempted to fill spaces, but as airports become busier today queues are likely to grind to a halt.
Officials have said delays are likely for incoming passengers, but departures will largely be unaffected.
Managers have been trained to step in to conduct airport passport checks, while courts will prioritise the most urgent cases.
A spokesman for Virgin 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.’
On Gatwick Airport’s website, officials have posted a statement warning of potential delays: ‘Arriving passengers may experience delays at passport control today.
‘We are working with UKBA to keep all disruption to a minimum for our passengers, but please help us by having your passport and travel documents ready for inspection at passport control.’
Eurostar said it was ‘not affected’ by the strikes but had laid on two extra trains today between London and Paris.
STRIKE ACTION: WHICH AIRPORTS ARE AFFECTED
LONDON AIRPORTS: TRAVELLERS ARRIVING INTO HEATHROW, GATWICK, LUTON AND STANSTED COULD ALL FACE DELAYS
MANCHESTER: DELAYS POSSIBLE FOR INBOUND PASSENGERS
BIRMINGHAM: DELAYS POSSIBLE FOR INBOUND PASSENGERS
NEWCASTLE: ‘MINIMAL DISRUPTION’ IS EXPECTED
SCOTTISH AIRPORTS: DELAYS POSSIBLE FOR INBOUND PASSENGERS AT EDINBURGH AND GLASGOW. NO MAJOR DISRUPTION EXPECTED AT ABERDEEN
LIVERPOOL: DELAYS POSSIBLE FOR INBOUND PASSENGERS
SOUTHAMPTON: THE SOUTH COAST AIRPORT SAID IT ‘SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY TODAY’S STRIKE’