Warning Travel Chaos: Expect Long Queues At UK Border

Warning Travel Chaos: Expect Long Queues At UK Border

Travellers arriving in the UK on 15 March are warned to expect long queues as Border Force staff join a huge day of cross-sector industrial action.

A Civil Service strike has been announced by the UK’s Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union. It is set to coincide with the spring budget by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. The strike by around 100,000 workers will impact Border Force services until at least 7 AM the next day.


The strike is part of an ongoing dispute over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.

The government said it has “undertaken extensive planning to minimise disruption, reduce queues and keep our border safe ahead of Border Force strike action”, with hundreds of people including military personnel having been trained to carry out border checks, “detect harmful goods and safeguard vulnerable individuals”.

How It Will Affect Travel

All arrivals at UK maritime ports and airports will be affected by the proposed industrial action. This includes arrivals from northern France who usually go through border control outposts in Calais and Coquelles and Dunkirk.

Border Force staff will walk out from 7 AM on 15 March until around 7 AM on Thursday, 16 March.

The industrial action will lead to longer queues and delays as there may not be enough people to process passengers in a timely manner. Affected travellers may need to consider rescheduling their travel plans.

Moreover, strikes can also have a ripple effect on the wider travel industry. Airlines and other travel companies may have to cancel or reschedule flights.

How To Prepare for the Strike

Travellers who cannot avoid travelling to the UK on these dates need to take several steps to minimise its impact on their travel experience.

Stay informed– Keep an eye on news sources and official websites for updates and check for the latest advice from operators before travelling.

Allow extra time – To avoid missing flights or connections, travellers should allow extra time for immigration and customs procedures.  If you're travelling by car or ferry, be prepared for longer wait times at border crossings.

Have a contingency plan – It's a good idea to have alternative plans. Make sure you have the contact details for your airline, hotel, and other travel providers. Consider purchasing travel insurance, which can provide cover for trip cancellations, delays, and other unexpected events. Be open to alternative options and work with your travel provider to find a solution that works for you.

Find out how to choose a Schengen medical and travel insurance in this blog post!

Be patient and flexible – While delays and disruptions can be frustrating, try to remain calm and patient. Remember that strike action is a legitimate form of protest, and the staff are fighting for their rights and working conditions.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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