British tourists disgusted at airport queues on first day US travel ban is lifted

Johnson welcomes plans in September to lift US travel restriction

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Hundreds of travellers had to wait up to two hours at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City after their flight from Manchester touched down on Monday. Marc Evans, who had flown with his family, described the queues as a “disgrace”. 

The 42-year-old father told Manchester Evening News: “It did dampen our moods. Myself, my wife and two children were tired and it was really hot inside.”

He tweeted: “Twenty months closed, lots of time to get things right, and JFK Airport queues are a disgrace, three planes landing at the same time from Manchester is ridiculous.”

Marc and his family, from Cheshire, travelled on one of the first flights since the US travel ban for UK holidaymakers was lifted.

They are visiting friends who left the UK to live in New Jersey days before the pandemic.  

But photos taken in the arrivals part of the terminal show a snaking queue of tourists.

They can be seen standing close together with everyone wearing masks – a requirement for all travellers arriving at JFK.

Referring to the images he snapped, Marc said: “This is when I was nearly at the end,” he said.

“As you can see the queue is huge and apparently ‘the norm’.”


The US reopened its borders to the UK after 598 days of travel restrictions on Monday (November 8) prompting emotional scenes.

A United Airlines service to Newark, New Jersey, became the last US-bound flight to leave Manchester on March 20 before the vital travel corridor closed.

Manchester Airport managing director Karen Smart said: “After almost two years with no flights to the USA, it is great to finally re-connect the region with some of our most popular and important destinations.

“Not only are our US routes well loved by holidaymakers, but they are also vital to the Northern economy and the prosperity of the region.

“Whether that is through the trade and investment opportunities the direct connectivity unlocks, to the inbound tourism the routes bring in, as Americans flock to key destinations like the Lake District, North Wales and York, plus to city breaks favourites like Liverpool and Manchester.”

John F. Kennedy International Airport has been contacted for comment.

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