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Heathrow Immigration Staffing  
User currently offlinecygnuschicago From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 758 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2451 times:

In November last year I moved from Chicago to London, and am absolutely shocked at the staffing levels at Heathrow at immigration. In approximately 20 flights since then, I have never encountered more than 3 open desks at any of Terminals 1, 3 or 5. In fact, right now I've been waiting here at Terminal 3 for nearly 2h after landing on the EK5 A380. Only two desks are open.

What is behind this? Is it extreme cost cutting, militant unions or simply management incompetence?


If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline767eng From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2010, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2395 times:

Cost cutting by successive governments is mainly to blame.

It's driving the airlines mad but there is nothing they can do about it if the political will isn't there.


User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21511 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

This must be why UA hands out express line passes to F pax. since we were connecting to LX we didn't need ours. Wonder how much we could have sold them for?


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1283 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2218 times:

It's also the same at LGW. The airports in Europe I've been to are the opposite - plenty of immigration officers and hardly any passengers. I've just walked up to the desk and through in about a minute.


A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinecygnuschicago From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 758 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2183 times:

Quoting 767eng (Reply 1):
Cost cutting by successive governments is mainly to blame.

This then raises two questions:

1) What on earth are they planning to do for the Olympics?

2) What's the point of a third runway at LHR when they can't even staff enough immigration points to handle the existing flights?



If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
User currently offlinecygnuschicago From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 758 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2182 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2):

This must be why UA hands out express line passes to F pax.

Yes, those are great - they give them to C pax too. At one stage, a few years ago, I could go through the express lines if in Y and when I had my AA Exec Plat or UA 1K card with me. That's been stopped now. In addition, the IRIS system is also largely decommissioned. Truly bizarre - makes US immigration look like a dream by comparison.



If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 2062 times:

Blame David Cameron and the moronic Conservative party for that.

Welcome to the UK, tourists. Now hold on while 1 immigration officer processes these 4 A380 flights and you may actually get through before your flight home...


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2030 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 6):

I'm pretty sure their were issues before Cameron came into power, and as I say to people when they moan about the government, go right ahead and try and do a better job!!


User currently offlinefbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1994 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 2):
This must be why UA hands out express line passes to F pax. since we were connecting to LX we didn't need ours. Wonder how much we could have sold them for?

Fast Track immigration has been in place at LHR terminals for years if not decades and has always been available to longhaul First/Business Class passengers.

As an IRIS registered person it makes my 15min registration even more worthwhile. I keep hearing about IRIS going down the tubes but as recently as two weeks ago it was still in operation and I've never found it out of use in dozens of passengers through the various Heathrow terminals since I signed up.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5449 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1954 times:

When I arrived in the UK in January (the first time I've been back in 3 years) there were actually signs up in T5 apologising for the queues and saying something to the effect that they couldn't afford more staff. It was truly shocking. Obviously I was aware that the economic situation in Europe is far from stellar but this really drove the point home.

Quoting cygnuschicago (Reply 5):
a few years ago, I could go through the express lines if in Y and when I had my AA Exec Plat or UA 1K card with me

EY used to give those to their top-tier flyers in Y as well. In 2009 I flew to LHR with my father (then EY status flyer) and we got them then. They originally only gave him one, but when we asked they got me one as well.

Quoting cygnuschicago (Reply 5):
Truly bizarre - makes US immigration look like a dream by comparison.

Sad but true. I never thought I would see the day when US immigration could be compared positively to something!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinevhtje From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1900 times:
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Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 8):
As an IRIS registered person it makes my 15min registration even more worthwhile. I keep hearing about IRIS going down the tubes but as recently as two weeks ago it was still in operation and I've never found it out of use in dozens of passengers through the various Heathrow terminals since I signed up.

I agree with you, registering for IRIS is the best 15 minutes you can spend in departure. (Well, almost...)

I have experienced it being down only once in the 4 years since I registered. An agent simply directed me to the top of another queue.

Unfortunately the UK Border Agency will be withdrawing IRIS after the Games, and you can no longer register for it. They have not announced with what they will be replacing it.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/cu...ms-travel/Enteringtheuk/usingiris/

My only complaint about IRIS is that it is available in too few airports.


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