Airport immigration mistake sees hundreds arrive in Manchester without passports being checked

By Ben Burrows

Manchester Airport is at the centre of a security scandal as a border control lapse allowed hundreds of passengers to pass into the country without showing their passports.

Airport officials confirmed that three separate flights were affected with the last incident just three days ago.

Handling agents at the airport sent passengers arriving from Europe through to domestic arrivals instead of the international route.

The mistake was realised within minutes and the majority of passengers were reached for passport checking.

But it is thought dozens were allowed to leave the terminal without the standard immigration check.

A spokesman for the airport said that the UK Border Patrol were not at fault.

“We have separate routes to segregate passengers arriving on international and domestic flights in Terminal 3 so that they are delivered to the correct immigration channel.

“Recently, a small number of passengers on three flights arriving from Europe were incorrectly directed to a domestic channel by representatives working for the airlines. The UK Border Agency is not at fault here.

“To prevent this happening again, our staff have been positioned to personally supervise the arrivals process on all affected flights into Terminal 3.”

The airport is bracing itself for a busy Easter period with over 810,000 passengers expected to pass through their terminals throughout the school holidays.

Over a quarter of a million of people are choosing this Easter weekend to jet off to sunnier climbs.

Manchester has enjoyed 12 months of successive passenger growth that has seen it surpass Stansted as the UK’s third largest airport. 

Passenger numbers have risen over the 19 million mark for the first time since the recession hit and Manchester has high hopes for a busy summer ahead.

Chief Operating Officer Andrew Harrison said: “With 12 months of consistent passenger growth behind us, we enter our traditional busiest period with lots of optimism and a belief that we can carry even more passengers to the destinations they require; while also encouraging more airlines to set up base here in the North West.

“The summer schedule looks impressive and many of our airlines have witnessed the continuing passenger growth here and commenced new services as a result, so we’re looking at a initial busy period over Easter and lots more to look forward to as we enter the summer months.”


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