UK festive period travel disruption: UK Border staff industrial action 23 to 31 December 2022 inclusive

14 December 2022 | Applicable law: England and Wales

UK Border Force staff will be striking at a number of UK airports from Friday 23 December to Saturday 31 December 2022, the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union has announced. The strike action falls during what is typically a period of high-volume travel.

Affected travellers should expect travel delays or cancellation of flights and ferries into the UK and long waiting times at the UK border over the affected period. The current UK Government advice is to:

  • contact the relevant travel carrier for the latest updates and to make alternative travel arrangements, if required;
  • use e-Gates where possible (UK, EEA, Swiss, US, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, South Korean, Japanese biometric passport holders, or individuals with Registered Traveller status, aged 12 or above), as this will reduce the volume of in person checks required by working border staff at affected ports; and
  •  follow updates on the GOV.UK pages.

Outbound travel may also be affected by delays and cancellations to inbound flights.

Strike action will take place during the periods:

  • 23 December to 26 December (until about 7am) inclusive; and
  • 28 December to 31 December (until about 7am) inclusive

Affected locations are:

  • Birmingham Airport
  • Cardiff Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport – all Terminals
  • Luton Airport
  • Manchester Airport
  • Port of Newhaven

London City Airport, London Stansted Airport, Eurostar terminals, the Port of Dover and other regional airports and seaports not listed above are not included in the announced industrial action. 

However, travellers should be prepared for general delays in travel to the UK and admission through the UK border on affected dates as staff are deployed from these locations to assist at affected ports. 

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


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