“SUPER LONG QUEUE”
When CNA arrived at the departure hall of Terminal 1 at around 1.20pm, things looked relatively calm and orderly, with regular queues at most of the check-in rows.
However, lines stretched out within the check-in area as passengers were directed to manned immigration clearance counters, rather than using the automatic clearance gates.
There were about 30 passengers in each queue. An announcement was heard, saying: “Immigration clearance for all departing passengers is delayed due to technical reasons. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
A woman at Terminal 3, who declined to be named, told CNA at 1.50pm that her loved one had been queuing at the immigration counters for around 20 minutes, and they were still in the middle of the queue.
Their flight was at 2.25pm and she said they did not know about the long queues before arriving at the airport.
Also at Terminal 3 was another woman sending off her mother. The woman, who did not want to be named, told CNA that she and her father arrived at Terminal 3 at about 11am and noticed that queues were already forming.
By 12.20pm, there was “a super long queue” extending from the immigration gates to Row 10 in the terminal, she said. The gates are located between Rows 5 and 6.
Her mother queued for 15 minutes from about 1.40pm before clearing immigration. All nine lanes had around 20 passengers waiting to clear immigration manually.
The automated clearance lanes at Terminal 3 were empty. There was also a sign instructing foreign aircrew members to “proceed to counter for clearance”.