9 May 2012 by Alex Stewart
UK Border Agency staff employed at London Heathrow and Gatwick are planning to stage a one-day strike on Thursday 10 May, which is likely to affect all airlines and may lead to disruption and longer queues at passport control for arriving passengers.
The industrial action is in protest at planned proposals to increase the retirement age for public service employees, linking it to the state retirement age.
At present, airlines such as British Airways have said that they are, 'planning to operate a normal schedule'. Additional staff from the airport authority and British Airways will be on hand to help customers, in an attempt to minimise any potential inconvenience for passengers.
The UK Border Agency has asked all passengers arriving in the UK to assist them by having travel documents readily available for inspection on arrival and by using automatic e-passport gates, where possible.
Customers transferring to another domestic or international flight should also have their onward travel documents available for inspection on arrival in the terminal building, where they will be directed to a dedicated connections route.
Passengers are advised to monitor the situation and to check their flight status. If you are planning on travelling to the airport to meet incoming passengers, you should also check the flight status and then ensure that you allow extra time when actually at the airport.
The Border Agency only handles incoming immigration checks at the airports; departing and international passengers will not be affected.