I was wondering why there wasn't any at LHR. VV701 below said there used to pre-clearance at LGW. Now given that Shannon has pre-clearance, why can't have Heathrow have its own pre-clearance facility?
Here is my train of thoughts:
Given the amount of flights to/from London to the US, I'm sure that some pre-clearance booths could be installed at Heathrow. Given the amount of flights BA operates, one could imagine having those at T5 only.
BA roughly operates 37 flights a day to the US. that is around 2.7 million people a year (based on an average of 200 pax per passenger). Imagine 20 TSA agent at total cost of $90k each (Cost includes compensation package), that is only $0.60 per passenger! Peanuts really! Even a 100 TSA employees would only cost $3.3 per pax!
Correct me if I'm wrong...
Back in the early 1990s there was a short period when there was pre-clearence in LON. I certainly remember one BA LHR-JFK flight where I pre-cleared at LHR T4 in a facility set up to the left side of and immediately after the security check. I think a similar facility was also set up at LGW.
None of this lasted long. My recollection is that it was terminated because of the high cost living / accommodation for the pre-clearence staff in the Heathrow area. But if this is correct why was LGW pre-clearence closed? Perhaps it was regarded as anti-competitive to give pre-clearence to passengers travelling from LGW but not those travelling from LHR.
[Edited 2012-07-20 12:45:19]