The UK airport passport and border control strikes are a worrying prospect for British expats travelling home for Christmas
Every year, thousands of British expats make the journey to the UK to visit family and friends- or just for Christmas shopping. It is an annual exodus that most relish and others hate!
The airport is where the ´holiday´ starts. Going through the necessary security is the next step, followed by a customary high-price beverage at one of the many outlets in the departure lounges at Spain’s airports.
The rush to board the plane is next, with passengers pushing others out of the way to secure a space for their hand luggage. Okay, all done and sitting comfortably, a message from the captain, take off, grip the seat, and in two and half hours you are landing in blighty!
Passport control strikes
Following a vote for eight days of strikes by employees at the main airports in the UK, travellers to and from Britain may experience even more disruptions and havoc over the holiday season.
From December 23 to December 26, as well as from December 28 to December 31, Border Force employees will strike at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Cardiff in a dispute over pay, pensions, and jobs.
With industrial action planned by train, bus, and road employees around Christmas, there are a number of strikes that are expected to heavily affect holiday travel.
According to the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), around 1,000 passport control employees will strike in support of a 10% pay increase. General secretary Mark Serwotka said the strike will have a “significant impact” on Britons’ travel plans.
Long lines may prevent people from disembarking from planes in larger airports with limited space, particularly Heathrow, the UK´s busiest airport. This could cause delays for both arriving and departing aircraft, placing stress on a system with little room for expansion and potentially resulting in cancellations and detours.