Stansted Strike Delays Warning

Travellers heading through Stansted Airport have been warned to expect disruption on arrival into the UK as immigration and customs officers join the public sector strike on Thursday.

Passengers were advised to consider travelling on a different day to avoid delays as hundreds of staff walk out.

A spokeswoman for airport operator BAA, which runs Heathrow, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports, said: "We have been informed by UK Border Agency that arriving passengers should expect delays at the UK border on Thursday as a result of industrial action by immigration officers.

"UK Border Agency are advising that passengers who can do so may wish to travel on other dates.''

The UK Border Agency said queues were expected at many ports and airports, but stressed that maintaining security was its priority.

A spokeswoman for the agency added that the extent of the disruption would depend on how many staff decide to take part in the strike action, and at which locations. She said: "If queues do build up, we have contingency measures in place to manage them.''

Airlines are also preparing for the impact of the strike action.

A British Airways spokeswoman said: ``We are liaising closely with the UK Border Agency and airport owners to minimise potential inconvenience to our customers.

"This is clearly an issue beyond our control but we are doing everything we can to protect our customers.''