Once again, travellers at Heathrow Airport have been caught up in hour-long queues after a system glitch caused all e-gates to stop working yesterday morning.
While the Home Office, which controls Border Force, did quickly apologise for any impact this malfunction had on passenger journeys, it is not the first time a system fault has triggered travel disruption this year.
The last e-gate failure, back in October, resulted in five-hour queues for passengers. Before that, there were reports that another system glitch had caused lengthy queues at the end of September and over the busy August Bank Holiday.
Those affected by the e-gate glitch should check their travel insurance as they may be able to claim for a ‘delay benefit’ of up to £500 (depending on their insurance provider) if their flight was rescheduled due to the disruption.
The amount claimable would vary depending on the cover included in the policy and the length of time delayed. This can usually be found under the “Travel Disruption” or “Travel Delay” section.
However, it is worth knowing that if an airline cancels or changes a flight, they are responsible for re-booking another flight at no extra cost – or offering an alternative.
If after a delay of 12-hour or 24-hour the flight has not been rearranged most travel insurance providers would allow passengers to cancel their holiday under the “Trip Disruption” section (depending on the policy terms and conditions). Travellers may also be covered for any additional expenses incurred as a result of their delay, such as food, accommodation, and refreshments.
The benefits detailed above would not be applicable if the delays were publicised prior to travellers leaving for their trip and they had not all allowed additional travel time for delays and queues.