By William Cole For Mailonline
Published: 18:42 BST, 1 August 2020 | Updated: 20:41 BST, 1 August 2020
Chaotic scenes broke out at Heathrow's border gates today as hundreds of passengers were crammed into queues after just three officers were left to check passports.
The travellers, many with young families, even chanted 'we want more staff' as the lines in the 'poorly ventilated' room stretched for at least an hour.
Heathrow Airport branded the situation 'totally unacceptable', but left were powerless because the gates are controlled by UK Border Force.
Natalie Crane, 32, from Surrey, had arrived back from a holiday to Majorca with her husband, mother, and three young children when she was faced with a two-hour delay.
Chaotic scenes broke out at Heathrow's border gates today as hundreds of passengers were crammed into queues after just three officers were left to check passports
She said: 'We queued with about 500 or 600 people; there was no social distancing, no ventilation - it would have been impossible to socially distance that many people in the room. It was just barbaric.
While the central London airport's self service E-gates were operating, Natalie and dozens of other parents couldn't use them because of