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oneworld Emerald privilege: Fast Track access arriving at certain airport terminals

oneworld Emerald privilege: Fast Track access arriving at certain airport terminals

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Old Jan 11, 19, 4:07 am
  #1  
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D'ya know that EXPs arriving on AA at LHR T 4 have no Fast Track privilege?

I didn't, but it's all there at CAAR Title 16, Ch. 2, Part 4, Section 73:3b. I just never studied that bit.

Gory details: I was flying from Tel Aviv to Dallas on AA 8371 (operated by El Al) connecting to AA 81. (I set it up with this 23-hour stopover so I could do a couple of things in London.) Landed at LHR only to find that the Immigration Hall was doing its End Of The World thing, humanity transformed to herded sheep. I went to the Fast Track line and showed my EXP card with that lovely emerald oval. "We do not accept cards in this terminal, sir; invitation only." "Not even for Oneworld Emerald here at BA's homebase?" "Sorry sir."

Perforce, I waited for about 75 minutes while wondering when someone in the line was going to lose it. We're adaptable buggers, however, and a lot of people, myself included, put on headphones and watched Netflix while telling outselves to cool it and thank God we're not Syrian refugees. Eventually I got to an immigration officer who proved most civil and said he hoped I'd make it to the British Museum before closing. (I did and saw what I wanted to see: Room 33A as it happens.) A couple of cool-looking dudes in official suits told me, when I asked, that they weren't in charge of this zoo. "Good thing," I said. What the hell; at 75 you may as well live dangerously.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 11, 19 at 10:24 am Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Jan 11, 19, 5:02 am
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This really doesn’t belong in the AA forum...

Why you expected to get fast track using your AA status when not flying AA, at a terminal AA doesn’t even use, at the hub of BA, but once again, a terminal that BA doesnt use either, is beyond me.

(Having to wait 75 minutes in an immigration line is ridiculous, though. I’ll give you that.)

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 11, 19 at 10:25 am Reason: Edited for move
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Old Jan 11, 19, 6:36 am
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The UK offer a fast track entry for those who visit the UK frequently. It enables you to use the electronic passport readers for E.U. or UK passports. IME, it’s always faster than fast track.

Otherwise, you were on a code share operated by a non OW partner. Most benefits of OW status for ground services do not apply, at least in my experience, especially since El Al uses the Star Alliance terminal at LHR. It’s a hard lesson to learn. Sorry about your bad experience.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by Djokison View Post
This really doesn’t belong in the AA forum, but if it did, it’d be in this thread: What's the stupidest, least substantive thing you can complain about?

Why you expected to get fast track using your AA status when not flying AA, at a terminal AA doesn’t even use, at the hub of BA, but once again, a terminal that BA doesnt use either, is beyond me.

(Having to wait 75 minutes in an immigration line is ridiculous, though. I’ll give you that.)
Well fast track status is specific to OWE not so much AA. But as OP has discovered, fast track for OWE only applies at T3 and T5.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:18 am
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Is fast track immigration an emerald privilege, or just fast track security?
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
Is fast track immigration an emerald privilege, or just fast track security?
At LHR it is both - but only in Terminals 3 and 5 as pointed out above. For both, I've often found Fast Track slower (especially in T5) than the regular lines.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 8:47 am
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The better question to OP is what made him believe that he would have Fast Track on the specific routing in question?
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Old Jan 11, 19, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by adunker View Post
Well fast track status is specific to OWE not so much AA. But as OP has discovered, fast track for OWE only applies at T3 and T5.
Even in T3 or T5, I wouldn’t expect Fast Track immigration based on any oneworld status if not flying inbound on a oneworld-operated flight. (I realize there are no non-oneworld flights at T5, but the point still stands.) I’d certainly expect Fast Track security for the departing AA flight.

The fact that the airport is BA’s home base is irrelevant. I wouldn’t expect DFW to grant AA status-based privileges if I fly in on Emirates even though it’s AA’s home base.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 9:44 am
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The OW webpage with Emerald benefits is good suggested reading, especially the dropdown that shows which airports and what terminals grant access...
https://www.oneworld.com/ffp/emerald-privileges
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Old Jan 11, 19, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
The OW webpage with Emerald benefits is good suggested reading, especially the dropdown that shows which airports and what terminals grant access...
https://www.oneworld.com/ffp/emerald-privileges
Thanks for sharing the link - I had forgotten it existed.

I went to the site to search and could only find references to Fast Track security lines, nothing about Fast Track immigration lines.

The information in the link refers to "Fast Track through security at select airports" and then "That is why, at select airports worldwide, our member airlines have arranged for oneworld Emerald frequent flyers to access the ‘Fast Track' or ‘Priority Lanes' at security check points. See below for details and the list of airports where this privilege is available:".
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Old Jan 11, 19, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The better question to OP is what made him believe that he would have Fast Track on the specific routing in question?
Or why he would need it if his connecting flight was 23 hours later?
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Old Jan 11, 19, 10:16 am
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We will be retitling this and likely moving it to the oneworld forum (leaving a durable link in the AA forum) as it’s about oneworld Emerald access to Fast Track or Priority Lanes at security checkpoints at “select” airport terminals (in this case, London Heathrow terminals 3 and 5 include arrival immigration), when travelling on a oneworld marketed and operated flight; no such benefit is available if arriving at or departing any other terminal, or via a non-oneworld carrier marketed or operated flight).

Link to oneworld Emerald Privileges web page detailing this benefit (has a tool to check various airport Fast Track & Priority Lane programmes offering Emerald Access). (Fast Track Access for LHR T-3 shown below; T-5 applies to passengers travelling on British Airways and Iberia only.)

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Last edited by JDiver; Jan 11, 19 at 1:39 pm
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Old Jan 11, 19, 1:20 pm
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The biggest missed point here is actually how AA continues to drive traffic to TLV via LY codeshares. It's almost impossible now to get AA to sell you a flight with a BA connection to TLV via LHR.

The LY codeshare is such a headscratcher. Flying to TLV a lot, I go way out of my way to avoid an LY connection.

Also, this is nothing new. The T3 arrivals agents enforce having a Fast Track invite a lot, and your OWE card doesn't mean much to them when they do, even coming off a BA or AA flight.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
[COLOR=&amp]We will be retitling this and moving it to the oneworld forum (leaving a durable link in the AA forum) as it’s about oneworld Emerald access to Fast Track or Priority Lanes at security checkpoints at specified airport terminals (in this case, London Heathrow terminals 3 and 5 include arrival immigration), when travelling on a oneworld marketed and operated flight; no such benefit is available if arriving at or departing any other terminal, or via a non-oneworld carrier marketed or operated flight).

Link
to oneworld Emerald Privileges web page detailing this benefit (has a tool to check various airport Fast Track & Priority Lane programmes offering Emerald Access). (Fast Track Access for LHR T-3 shown below; T-5 applies to passengers travelling on British Airways and Iberia only.)

Moderator [/COLOR]
Once again the confusion reigns. OW Fast Track privileges are only conferred to DEPARTURES (mostly security, but sometimes outbound immigration). Fast Track ARRIVALS (inbound immigration) are dependent on the airport in question, and who's willing to pay for the scheme, if available, and in this case the airlines decide to whom they provide the access (Business and First pax only, for example).
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Old Jan 11, 19, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by teemuflyer View Post
Once again the confusion reigns. OW Fast Track privileges are only conferred to DEPARTURES (mostly security, but sometimes outbound immigration). Fast Track ARRIVALS (inbound immigration) are dependent on the airport in question, and who's willing to pay for the scheme, if available, and in this case the airlines decide who they provide the access.
Exactly! As it states in the page illustrated,

Fast Track through security at select airports

...Fast track security lanes are not available at all airports.

Due to restrictions or local agreements with Security Fast Track facility operators, not all oneworld carriers are currently able to extend this benefit to all Emerald tier customers.”

It’s useful to use the tool available on the linked page to determine which airport and terminal offers Fast Track services and to which airlines’ flyers they are offered to. Just flying on a oneworld marketed and operated flight isn’t always sufficient, depending on airline and airport agreements and local policies, regulations and Fast Track availability.
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