Passengers warned to expect long queues at airports as PCS add to Xmas strikes woe.

Gatwick Control Tower (Image NATS)
Gatwick Control Tower (Image NATS)

Passengers at many UK airports have been warned to expect long delays on arrival to the UK as Border Force staff add to Britain’s Christmas strike woes.

Border Force staff that belong to the PCS Union will be walking out from 23rd December to 31st December at some of the UK’s busiest airports including Heathrow and Gatwick.

All affected airports are expected to have their borders open but passport checks for passengers arriving in the UK will take longer as there will be fewer staff.

The smallest airport to be affected, Cardiff Airport, has told passengers that it expects outbound flights and domestic arrivals to be unaffected but it expects delays on international inbound flights. This was echoed by Gatwick Airport which has told passengers arriving in to the UK to allow extra time for their onward journey.

According to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium just over 10,000 flights could be affected with Heathrow and Gatwick bearing the brunt of those with 7.200 flights between them.

The affected airports are:

  • Birmingham Airport
  • Cardiff Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport – Terminals 2,3,4 and 5
  • Manchester Airport

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The government can stop these strikes tomorrow if it puts money on the table. 

“Like so many workers, our members are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. They are desperate. They are being told there is no money for them, while they watch ministers giving out government contracts worth billions of pounds to their mates.” adding “We will fight to improve our members’ pay, terms and conditions regardless of who is in Downing Street.” 

The action by the PCS comes at a time when rail strikes are affecting travel across the UK and to airports with the RMT Union demanding pay increases in a bitter dispute.

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