UK airport delays blamed on wind, short staffing

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LONDON (AP) — Long waits at British airport immigration desks have been blamed on staff cuts, airline schedules, security policies and even the wind.

Lawmakers on Britain's Home Affairs committee on Tuesday heard conflicting views from officials at airlines, airports, unions and the government.

Recent reports of passengers standing in line for two hours or more at London's Heathrow Airport have raised concerns not only about management but about the country's image.

British immigration minister Damian Green said border agents are sometimes overwhelmed when planes arrive with more passengers than expected. He also said arriving passengers can be victims of unpredictable factors including tailwinds and headwinds that can affect the order in which planes arrive.

Unions representing border agents blamed staffing cuts due to the government's austerity measures.

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