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readytotaxi
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Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:35 am

Source – London Sunday Times (condensed)

Subscription service only

Turmoil Of 3-hour Wait To Enter UK



“During the last 14 days there have been several occasions when passengers have had to wait 2-3hr to clear immigration. Apparently a senior Olympic official was caught up in this & made a complaintwhich required a UK border Agency official to write a report. (Terminal 5)
The BAA say that they are experiencing high levels of arrivals and the Border Agency are not providing the resources to meet the demand.The UK government is aiming to reduce the number of Border Agency staff at UK ports from 8874 to 7322 by 2015.”

Now with the Games less than 100 days away numbers are only going to increase and the image this will send out is shocking, sure other countries Press will pick up on this. I really hope the Games have been better organised than the airport experience our country is offering arrivals.

[Edited 2012-04-22 10:57:12 by SA7700]
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B777LRF
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:51 am

One very, very, easy way to lessen the burden on immigration would be for the UK to join Schengen. But the institutional paranoia of UK civil service and, to some degree, its population will ensure this doesn't happen.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
timpdx
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:57 am

Worst experiences I have ever has, bar none, have been at LHR. Over 40 countries now, UK is the worst even beating out the Stans and Russia for long waits and poor attitude by officials. I never, ever book Europe through London because of this.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:01 am

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 1):

One very, very, easy way to lessen the burden on immigration would be for the UK to join Schengen. But the institutional paranoia of UK civil service and, to some degree, its population will ensure this doesn't happen.

Agreed for one UK citizen .
 
AngMoh
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:11 am

Fly to Paris or Brussels and take the train...
 
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par13del
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:38 am

These delays add to the importance and prestige of the airport, shows the extend of demand, if one just walks thur obviously no one is interested in that destination. One does get an idea of the importance inbound when your a/c most times is put into a holding pattern to land on one of teh precious runways catering to the airport.  

If arrivals are picking up this early lets hope these folks are staying for the Olympics, much money to spread thru the economy.
 
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vhtje
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:09 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 1):
One very, very, easy way to lessen the burden on immigration would be for the UK to join Schengen. But the institutional paranoia of UK civil service and, to some degree, its population will ensure this doesn't happen.

Absolutely 100% correct. But equally, it will never, never, EVER happen.

I can see the Daily Heil (oops, sorry, Daily Mail) headlines right now.

Unfortunately the EU-skeptics have too much political clout in the UK to ever entertain a debate about joining, let alone actually join.
 
Lofty
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:42 pm

The other day it took longer for me a British Passport Holder to enter the UK than it did for me to enter Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
 
TIA
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:57 pm

A couple of weeks ago I was on the morning AA flight from JFK that gets into LHR around 930pm. First of all I was surprised that the plane circled over London for about 30 mins before landing. Normally I fly into LHR in the morning so I'm used to the circling then but I thought late in the evening that wouldn't be much traffic. Then I spent over an hour at immigration. I never expected it at such a time. I never have to wait this long in the other London airports.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:16 pm

Quoting TIA (Reply 8):
A couple of weeks ago I was on the morning AA flight from JFK that gets into LHR around 930pm. First of all I was surprised that the plane circled over London for about 30 mins before landing. Normally I fly into LHR in the morning so I'm used to the circling then but I thought late in the evening that wouldn't be much traffic. Then I spent over an hour at immigration. I never expected it at such a time. I never have to wait this long in the other London airports.

You will at the moment as there is to WAAAAY much political interference in the DAY TO DAY operations of UK Border Agency.

Our Home Secretary yes the one that f**K*D up trying to remove a real national threat has instructed UKBA check every granny/aunty/mother and baby entering the country UK national / EU/EFTA citizen US or Bolivian Marsian Klingon or Jedi

The politicians have LOST the plot and have no idea what so ever about intelligence lead border and immigration controls.

I've said before the UKBA should be finding existing illegals and Visa overstayers and removing them with the frontier work returning to intelligence and high risk monitoring.

With the need to airlines to submit detailed passenger lists in advance, you just don't need to check EVERY Bl**dy passport at the frontier.

Its complete farce
 
rutankrd
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:29 pm

Oh and UKBA should be working with and along SIDE our neighbouring forces in Belgium, France , Netherlands and Eire.

Not at arms length that results in international disagreements such as UK telling France and Belgium (Both Schegan) that they must control travel and documentation between Brussels and Lille incase some slips through to the UK !

If we were in Schegan we actually COULD intervene , but no we stay out and make it more difficult then blame john foreigner !
 
babybus
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:23 pm

The UK still has border controls? Really? I thought anyone could just walk in. If you don't have a UK passport when you arrive they will give you one from under the table.

It was only a few months ago that we were told in the press that the government had asked the Border Agency not to check passports too closely.

With the Olympics as a good excuse for anyone and everyone to enter the UK these more careful checks of passports might be a good idea.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:26 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 7):
The other day it took longer for me a British Passport Holder to enter the UK than it did for me to enter Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

That's weird - which terminal did you get into? I'm an EU passport holder, arrived at T1 at 5.30pm last Wednesday and it took me no more than 5 minutes to clear immigration. There were 2 people in front of me.
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:29 pm

It's not exactly plain sailing into the US...I have had long waits before, and I usually make it a point to be as quick off the plane as possible so I can be somewhere near the front of the line.

A question for those in the know: I will be arriving at LHR in June with my American wife, I think I'm allowed to take her in the EU line, correct? I am a British passport holder. Might be nice to miss the 3 hr waits.

[Edited 2012-04-22 15:31:41]
Fortune favours the brave
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 13):
It's not exactly plain sailing into the US

I know we all used to laugh/shake our heads at US immigration in the UK, but the US has steadily improved while the UK has deteriorated markedly. When the UK has worse immigration lines than the US then I'm glad I don't live there anymore - it seems somewhat indicative...

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 13):
I will be arriving at LHR in June with my American wife, I think I'm allowed to take her in the EU line, correct? I am a British passport holder. Might be nice to miss the 3 hr waits.

I think you are

Quoting Lofty (Reply 7):
The other day it took longer for me a British Passport Holder to enter the UK than it did for me to enter Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 12):
That's weird - which terminal did you get into? I'm an EU passport holder, arrived at T1 at 5.30pm last Wednesday and it took me no more than 5 minutes to clear immigration. There were 2 people in front of me.

I've had the same experience. This year I've got into Hong Kong, Ecuador and *gasp* *drumroll* the USA (ie all the other countries I've been to) on a foreign passport quicker than I did getting through T5 on my British passport in January.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
bennett123
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:51 pm

Not sure how your American wife is going to be in the EU line.
 
trintocan
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:08 pm

Once again, this story keeps popping up every so often nowadays. One really wonders how they will handle the Olympics, just under 100 days away and the Paralympics soon after. Let's not forget the Diamond Jubilee - quite a few well-wishers and visitors may well visit the country for that too.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 1):
One very, very, easy way to lessen the burden on immigration would be for the UK to join Schengen.

Very true in so many ways. Remember though that for major events a Schengen country can suspend the open border policy and resume full controls so that for something like the Olympics the nation would almost certainly take back control anyway.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 10):
Not at arms length that results in international disagreements such as UK telling France and Belgium (Both Schegan) that they must control travel and documentation between Brussels and Lille incase some slips through to the UK !

That's quite a controversial matter as it flies in the face of the Schengen Accord. The trouble is that the Eurostar services between Lille Europe and Bruxelles Gare du Midi are by far the most frequent and easiest means of getting between the two cities - other rail alternatives would involve slower trains and connections (eg Lille Flandres - Mouscron or Ghent - Bruxelles Midi). The Eurostar services though all originate or terminate in London so for a train heading from Brussels to Lille they need to screen all the passengers as there is no way of sorting them once on board. I'm not sure how they managed to get the legislative approval to do that though.

Trintocan.
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ikramerica
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:45 pm

Why not use some of the high tax they charge departing pax to pay got more staff?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:54 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 15):
Not sure how your American wife is going to be in the EU line.

I seem to recall being told (last time I entered the UK) that she could come with me through the EU passport holder line.
Fortune favours the brave
 
milemaster
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:17 am

I'm going to be coming into T5 on the BA DFW-LHR in about 10 days. All my previous few trips to LHR over the last two years haven't really been all that bad in the immigration line, 30 mins or so. Only difference this time is me coming in on BA instead of AA. I've got a room booked in the T5 Yotel for with a check-in one hour after arrival. I guess I need to modify it?
 
skipness1E
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 1):
One very, very, easy way to lessen the burden on immigration would be for the UK to join Schengen. But the institutional paranoia of UK civil service and, to some degree, its population will ensure this doesn't happen.

Actually we are already a magnet for immigration from Pakistan, Afghanistan India and Africa due to extablished communities where people can vanish and who frankly don't like us very much. We'd prefer not to be in Schengen as the French would simply dump the thousands of desperate refugees at Sangate across the channel onto us. The view from Luxembourg is somewhat whiter I think.
 
AT
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:35 am

Can't they at the very least generate more lanes and agents during the summer Olympic period? I know space is tight but they could add multiple agents side by side in each lane.
 
Rafabozzolla
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:13 am

Quoting trintocan (Reply 16):
The Eurostar services though all originate or terminate in London so for a train heading from Brussels to Lille they need to screen all the passengers as there is no way of sorting them once on board.

Why not have a passport check inside the train after Lille and keep any ineligible aliens in custody until the train heads back to a Schengen country?

BTW, I'm flying into Heathrow T1 in mid-July from Brazil on an EU passport, landing at 3pm. Will I, or should I face any long queues? I believe immigration lines are quite light at that time.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:19 am

The UK Border Agency is being slashed to the bone as the coalition struggles to cut public spending, so the idea of having enough people to deal with a known passenger throughput was rare in the boom years. Not a chance today alas.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:54 am

Have fun, London! Remember, you WANTED this! You even celebrated when you got it!
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MAN2SIN2BKK
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:10 am

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 13):
A question for those in the know: I will be arriving at LHR in June with my American wife, I think I'm allowed to take her in the EU line, correct? I am a British passport holder. Might be nice to miss the 3 hr waits.

I am a UK passport holder and arrived in terminal 4 last October with my Thai wife and our 3 dual nationality hooligans; there is a booth in the EC imigration for the likes of us so you shouldn't have any problem
 
757MDE
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:36 am

I must have been lucky. The most wait I've had to wait in Heathrow as a UK passport holder is about 30 minutes...
I've had it way worse in Miami where I had to wait 1:45 the other day. Then again I came through Miami just yesterday and it took about 35 minutes as well as a foreigner in terminal J... not that bad really.
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VonRichtofen
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:51 am

Quoting babybus (Reply 11):
The UK still has border controls? Really? I thought anyone could just walk in. If you don't have a UK passport when you arrive they will give you one from under the table.

Only if you're from a country that has no ethnic, cultural or linguistic ties with the UK. Having no skills helps too.

Caucasian, english speaking and born in a first world country you have to jump through a million hoops to live in the UK. I've made inquiries about it before. And I'm from a bloody commonwealth country!
 
yodobashi
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:54 am

It annoys the **** out of me when most of the time I seem to enter the UK, the expensive 'bio-metric' auto gates sit redundant and when you ask the question 'why?', you're told 'because we need someone to man those gates' ....

Surely even if you need an agent to man those gates, it only takes one and they could process far more individuals than one agent sitting at a manual check desk?

And what the hell happened to Iris .... the UK equivalent of beta-max?

As for the uniforms they now wear, it still looks a half baked effort compared to those of all our European neighbours, indeed, the rest of the world ....
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"
 
deltaguy767
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:36 am

Does the UK have a program similar to US Global Entry? If they do, perhaps they could market it for the Olympic period and try to get regular UK visitors onto the program to avoid the long queues. Generally speaking I haven't had much business in the UK and cannot speak to LHR Immigration, but this past fall flying from MAD-LCY, I was the only one in the non-UK/EU line and was on the DLR in perhaps 5 minutes from stepping off the aircraft.
A Good Landing is one you walk away from!
 
rutankrd
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:50 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 20):
Actually we are already a magnet for immigration from Pakistan, Afghanistan India and Africa due to extablished communities where people can vanish and who frankly don't like us very much. We'd prefer not to be in Schengen as the French would simply dump the thousands of desperate refugees at Sangate across the channel onto us. The view from Luxembourg is somewhat whiter I think.

And our stand alone UKBA with fortress frontiers work to stop these clandestines do they - NO !

As in other domains the work of immigration officials is to find and remove those already here the majority of illegals that are VISA overstayers (Entered quite legally !)

Schengen membership would ALLOW UKBA to operate openly beyond the fenced compound WITH French officials in their attempts to remove them back to the first point of EU entry .

More importantly it would allow our forces to work more closely with those of Italy/Greece and Spain where the porous borders actually are.

Schengen bestows many potential benefits to the UK PLC however thats not the story that the Daily Mail likes to tell.

Oh and it would not prevent UKBA and customs continuing to scan Artic's and containers or impose customs checks for contraband drugs/weapons etc... (these are differing things all together)
 
bennett123
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:05 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17807502

Immigration is only the first stage in this drama.

Fortunately, I can bypass London.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:26 am

Don't suppose anyone actually considered that the appetite for joining Schengen may be based on long and hard experience of what is caught crossing our borders from that zone, rather than leaping to the ever-so popular and facile cries of 'institutional paranoia' or euroscepticism? Just a thought.....
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oneworld77
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:35 am

Quoting yodobashi (Reply 28):
And what the hell happened to Iris .... the UK equivalent of beta-max?

Being shut after the Olympics. Though they don't make it easy at the moment. If you're registered already, and you see a barrier across the lane for IRIS, just check it's not broken, remove the barrier and proceed. Why they do this, I'll never know.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 23):
The UK Border Agency is being slashed to the bone as the coalition struggles to cut public spending, so the idea of having enough people to deal with a known passenger throughput was rare in the boom years. Not a chance today alas.

Indeed, and we know it was the Public Sector that got us into this mess.....oh wait......!

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 20):

Actually we are already a magnet for immigration from Pakistan, Afghanistan India and Africa due to extablished communities where people can vanish and who frankly don't like us very much.

The Empire Pay Back - I believe it's called. Unfortunate for the UK, but really, only Fair, considering what the UK did (positive and negative) in Pakistan, India and large swathes of Africa. I'm no sure they "don't like us very much". Read the Daily Hate-Mail much?

It's no wonder LGW is becoming popular - whatever the reason for airlines going there in the first place, they may be inticed to stay as 'processes' are so much smoother there.
Flown - EI;BA;RE;FR;WW;TW;TS;US;JP;JT;AT;QF;JQ;VB;NC;TR;D7;AA;IB;AF;SN;LX;SR;LH;AY;CX;CP;9K;9W;IX;AI;IC;EK;EY;GF;QR;BE;N
 
airsmiles
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:09 am

I may as well jump in here, as I'm a regular into/out of Heathrow to/from the USA

1)
Yes, I've had one or two delays at Heathrow but generally I sweep through the E-Passport gate in minutes (T3, T4 & T5). I positively fear arriving at US Immigration, especially at Atlanta and Dulles, who are the worst of the US gateway airports in my experience.

2)
Schengen? The Brits (and I'm one) generally have a mistrust of anything to do with the EU and signing up to Schengen would be a hard sell to the voters.
 
Glom
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:20 am

Quoting vhtje (Reply 6):
Unfortunately the EU-skeptics have too much political clout in the UK to ever entertain a debate about joining, let alone actually join.

As someone who is EU-sceptic, I agree we should join Schengen (and also adopt the metric system). The Schengen area is not a strictly EU thing since there are several non EU countries in it (just like the metric system, which is more of a world except USA and UK thing). We have a common travel area with Ireland. We should both hold hands and dive in.

I would argue that the philosophy in the new LHR terminals of comingling domestic and international pax is actually a way of future proofing for such an eventuality.
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:59 am

Quoting airsmiles (Reply 34):
Yes, I've had one or two delays at Heathrow but generally I sweep through the E-Passport gate in minutes (T3, T4 & T5). I positively fear arriving at US Immigration, especially at Atlanta and Dulles, who are the worst of the US gateway airports in my experience.

The issue I see is not so much for Europeans. EU passports holders can use the E-gates, like you. The problem is for the rest of us. If LHR wants to remain a global hub, they need to staff the immigration desks.

As for the US - if you travel frequently, just get Global Entry. You'll be through in 5 minutes.
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
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garpd
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:23 am

Although I agree, some improvements could be made, my personal experience of getting through the passport checks at LHR is a good one.

I flew LHR-ATL-LHR. I spent more time queueing up, removing shoes and other items of clothing, being scanned in those body scanners, frisked and then queueing again to retrieve my things and put my shoes, jackets, belt, etc on at ATL than I did at LHR. I've never seen so much security at the point of entry for a country.
The security to get back into the airport for the return flight was far less invasive. It was my first time there. But the group I was travelling with have done the same trip for 5 years and told me the entire experience was normal.

In contrast, after arrival at LHR (T5), I got through passport control within 5 minutes and was off to get my connection flight. I spent another 5 minutes queueing and being processed through security and I was off to find a quiet spot to take a nap. Couldn't have been simpler.
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Hywel
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:24 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 24):
Have fun, London! Remember, you WANTED this! You even celebrated when you got it!

Well, I was celebrating not because we won it, but just because we'd beaten the French at something 
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:23 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 37):
I flew LHR-ATL-LHR. I spent more time queueing up, removing shoes and other items of clothing, being scanned in those body scanners, frisked and then queueing again to retrieve my things and put my shoes, jackets, belt, etc on at ATL than I did at LHR. I've never seen so much security at the point of entry for a country.

Are you sure you didn't have a connecting flight from ATL? Why would there be a security check after landing and getting off the aircraft otherwise?
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:36 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 37):
In contrast, after arrival at LHR (T5), I got through passport control within 5 minutes and was off to get my connection flight. I spent another 5 minutes queueing and being processed through security and I was off to find a quiet spot to take a nap. Couldn't have been simpler.

Don't worry, this will change - When you folks declare independence in 2014, we'll make you wait 3h at the A74/M6 border crossing, do thorough searches (including under the kilt), and make you pay exorbitant rates to change your Euros to Pounds  
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
Lentini2001
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:27 pm

If only there were some other airports you could fly in and out of and not just Heathrow in the South of the UK eh?.......
 
Glom
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Quoting cygnuschicago (Reply 40):
When you folks declare independence in 2014, we'll make you wait 3h at the A74/M6 border crossing

Ahem! A74(M)! The Cumberland Gap has been closed.
 
mcr
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:30 pm

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 18):
Quoting bennett123 (Reply 15):Not sure how your American wife is going to be in the EU line.
I seem to recall being told (last time I entered the UK) that she could come with me through the EU passport holder line.

Travelling with an American companion in the past I was told it would be fine for me (as a UK passport holder) to wait in the non-EU line with her, but that she could not use the EU line with me. Simplest option surely is just to meet her at the baggage belt!
 
milemaster
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:50 pm

I would assume that the long queues are less of a factor on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays? I would imagine peak times would be Sat/Sun/Mon/Fri?
 
offloaded
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:08 pm

Quoting yodobashi (Reply 28):
It annoys the **** out of me when most of the time I seem to enter the UK, the expensive 'bio-metric' auto gates sit redundant and when you ask the question 'why?', you're told 'because we need someone to man those gates' ....

   3 times arriving at BHX T2 there has been a row of red "out of service" X's on the e-passport gates, so I asked if they would ever be open and was told "no, as there are no spare staff to man them"

Came through LHR T5 last week and was out in 5 mins.

I'm sure these checks manage to catch a few people who are over their tax allowance days (non domiciles etc)...
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
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yyz717
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:37 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
The BAA say that they are experiencing high levels of arrivals

High levels of arrivals? Since when? LHR traffic growth is, what, 2% year over year? How can the BAA not handle 2% growth in arrivals?
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
PITingres
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:25 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 39):
Are you sure you didn't have a connecting flight from ATL? Why would there be a security check after landing and getting off the aircraft otherwise?

Because ATL, like many other US airports designed pre-9/11 security, has *no* direct connection from customs to the outside world. You have to go back through the terminal area, which means you have to re-enter the "sterile" area (customs is by TSA definition non-sterile because you have access to your checked luggage).

It's a massive, massive pain in the ass.
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lhrnue
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:43 pm

Quoting Reply 33):
It's no wonder LGW is becoming popular - whatever the reason for airlines going there in the first place, they may be inticed to stay as 'processes' are so much smoother there.

Well, I arrived yesterday at LGW North Terminal and it took me 45 minutes through the EU line (I do not have one of the new biometric passports). I still think that is to long. I also think an airport is the business card of a country and all the UK airports telling me is: Stay away from this country, do not make business with us.

I agree with comments made above, that being in Schengen would allow to free up UKBA staff required to focus on the real task, which is to find and remove overstayers or better control the ports ... not only in UK.

Also the comment made above about LHR and T5. As a weekly flyer into LHR my general feeling is that T5 is the worst in LHR, but yes there are also times when it only takes 5 minutes to get through.

Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for BAA that they getting the blame for the UKBA performance.
 
nasula
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RE: Heathrow Immigration Delays, The Saga Continues

Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:02 pm

One way to release some workforce at LHR would be to stop checking transit passengers that are already airside. I have very little understanding to why on earth you have to be immigration checked AND security checked when moving from say T3 to a connecting flight at T5. It's just silly and a waste of time and workforce.

The point is, you're already airside so where is the security risk so that you have to be checked with scanners AGAIN?

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