cygnuschicago
Topic Author
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:34 am

Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:21 pm

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!
 
767eng
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:13 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:38 pm

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.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:49 pm

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.
 
jwhite9185
Posts: 1581
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 10:34 pm

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:21 am

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.
@mytripreport
 
cygnuschicago
Topic Author
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:34 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:48 am

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!
 
cygnuschicago
Topic Author
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:34 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:51 am

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!
 
ajd1992
Posts: 2390
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:55 am

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...
 
lhr380
Posts: 2453
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:39 pm

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:19 pm

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!!
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
fbgdavidson
Posts: 3563
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:19 pm

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
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:04 am

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
 
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vhtje
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

RE: Heathrow Immigration Staffing

Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:18 pm

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.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.

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