Heathrow Airport passport queues reach 2.5 hours

Latest news

    The UK border sign and queues at Heathrow AirportImage copyright PA
    Image caption The boss of Virgin Atlantic, which obtained the data, called on the government to fix the long queues

    Delays at Heathrow Airport passport control left passengers queuing for up to two and a half hours last month, figures show.

    On 30 out of 31 days in July, the border force missed its target of a 45-minute wait or less for 95% of visitors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

    Virgin Atlantic, which obtained the data, said passengers are “frustrated”.

    The government said it is deploying 200 extra staff to Heathrow this summer.

    According to the data, the longest immigration queues were on 6 July when travellers from outside the EEA – an area made up of 31 European countries – had to wait in line for up to two hours and 36 minutes.

    Craig Kreeger, the boss of Virgin Atlantic, said while it is agreed that security and safety is a priority, other countries are managing their borders better than the UK.

    He said “only the Border Force” can take action to “resolve these unacceptable queue times”.

    “At a time when the UK needs to show the world it is open for business, the government and Border Force need to provide a great first impression for every visitor every time,” he said.

    Image caption Non-EEA citizens cannot use the electronic gates, which run a face recognition check and passport scan

    Citizens of the European Union, the EEA and Switzerland can use the electronic gates at Heathrow’s passport control – but visitors from all other countries must have their passports checked by a border force official.

    John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, has previously called for the Home Office to allow visitors from “low risk countries” – like the US, he suggests – to be allowed to use the electronic gates.

    ‘Border farce’

    Last week the boss of British Airways, Alex Cruz, wrote a letter to the Times urging the government to deal with Heathrow’s “border farce”.

    He said “two-hour queues are fast becoming the norm” and Heathrow has missed its target for non-EEA arrivals 6,000 times so far this year.

    A Home Office spokesman said: “The vast majority of people who arrive at Heathrow get through the border within our service standards.

    “But we understand the frustration for those who have experienced longer waits and remain fully committed to working with our partners to reduce waiting times as far as is possible.

    “At the same time, we will not compromise the essential checks we carry out at the border which keep our country safe.

    “We are making sure Border Force has the resources it needs and are deploying 200 additional staff at Heathrow over the summer.”

    View the original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45165222

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45165222

    In the same category are

    Malcolm Turnbull: Under-pressure Australia PM drops climate policy Image copyright EPA Image caption Malcolm Turnbull is facing pressure over his leadership Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his gove...
    Kerala floods: Relief teams rescue 22,000 as rains ease Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Relief supplies were taken to stranded residents in Chengannur About 22,000 people were rescued from th...
    North Korea to host emotional family reunions Image copyright EPA Image caption Lee Chun-ja shows a picture of her wedding which she intends to give to her relatives in North Korea A group of ...
    Flat collapse-risk residents ‘living in fear’ Image caption Tangmere was built in the 1970s using the large panel system Families living in a north London block of flats judged to be at risk o...
    ‘I feel scared in my collapse-risk flat’ Families living in a north London block of flats judged to be at risk of collapse have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme they are living in fear....
    Fighting school holiday hunger in Birkenhead Image caption Nourishing lunches at Birkenhead's St James Centre An estimated three million children are at risk of going hungry over the holidays...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.