Long queues at T5 border control

Old Apr 23, 12, 6:12 pm
  #151  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 12,216
1hour when arriving April 19 at 1pm (just missed fast track cutoff) and 1.25 hours arriving today at 1:30pm (almost longer than flight from Rome). And it got much worse after that as more afternoon flights arrived. This was for the non-UK/EU citizens line (the others were much shorter). Not even 50% of the stations were staffed. Much to my surprise the Border staffer even apologized.

To be honest this situation is unacceptable for a business class customer. I will not be flying BA again into T5 after Noon unless this situation is rectified. It is curious that I've never had to wait more than a few minutes at T1 when arriving on a UA 747. What sense is there to have fast track end when int flights are still arriving (and longer hours in T3).

Now to be fair some USA airports have bad lines (eg IAD). But again, I have a choice of airlines and itineraries, so BA will be kissing my paid business goodbye surely along with others. It is a horrible way to end an otherwise pleasant 10hr flight.
Boraxo is offline  
Old Apr 23, 12, 7:16 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,259
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
1hour when arriving April 19 at 1pm (just missed fast track cutoff) and 1.25 hours arriving today at 1:30pm (almost longer than flight from Rome). And it got much worse after that as more afternoon flights arrived. This was for the non-UK/EU citizens line (the others were much shorter). Not even 50% of the stations were staffed. Much to my surprise the Border staffer even apologized.

To be honest this situation is unacceptable for a business class customer. I will not be flying BA again into T5 after Noon unless this situation is rectified. It is curious that I've never had to wait more than a few minutes at T1 when arriving on a UA 747. What sense is there to have fast track end when int flights are still arriving (and longer hours in T3).

Now to be fair some USA airports have bad lines (eg IAD). But again, I have a choice of airlines and itineraries, so BA will be kissing my paid business goodbye surely along with others. It is a horrible way to end an otherwise pleasant 10hr flight.
Would just like to point out that very long queues at immigration are a recent development due to changes at UKBA. If you read some UK news reports you'll see that it affects all Heathrow terminals with queues at T1 today quoted as "over 3 hours"
xxxxx is offline  
Old Apr 23, 12, 11:07 pm
  #153  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 550
There is an editorial about the airport queues crisis in the FT:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/27f36...44feab49a.html
prof is offline  
Old Apr 23, 12, 11:55 pm
  #154  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 615
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
1hour when arriving April 19 at 1pm (just missed fast track cutoff) and 1.25 hours arriving today at 1:30pm (almost longer than flight from Rome).

/snip/
From a recent booking confirmation:

Flight Number BA2541
From Fiumicino (Rome) Terminal 3
To Gatwick (London) Terminal N
Depart 23 April 2012 18:10
Arrive 23 April 2012 19:40

That makes two and one half hours flying time, which rather negates your assertion quoted above.

This was for the non-UK/EU citizens line (the others were much shorter). Not even 50% of the stations were staffed. Much to my surprise the Border staffer even apologized.
Ah! Now you have an inkling of what life is like for foreigners trying to get through United States immigration queues.

But - unlike the rude and crass US immigration clerks - you, at least, got an apology from their British counterparts.

Last edited by 45128; Apr 24, 12 at 12:07 am
45128 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 12:34 am
  #155  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 550
Originally Posted by 45128 View Post

Ah! Now you have an inkling of what life is like for foreigners trying to get through United States immigration queues.

But - unlike the rude and crass US immigration clerks - you, at least, got an apology from their British counterparts.
US immigration is no picnic, but I have never heard of 2 or 3 hour waits to get through immigration at any US airport; certainly not as a matter that seems to become routine, as seems to be the case at LHR. I have never seen queues at US immigration backing up to escalators or elevators coming from from arrivals gates. There has never been a threat (even rhetorical) of having flights circle US airports or be barred from disembarking passengers because queues at passport control are too long. And (not that it matters to passengers caught in the queue) slow processing at US immigration has to do with national paranoia, not with staffing reductions caused by budget cuts despite some of the world's highest--and ever-increasing--airport and passenger taxes and duties.
prof is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 12:43 am
  #156  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 615
Originally Posted by prof View Post
US immigration is no picnic, but I have never heard of 2 or 3 hour waits to get through immigration at any US airport; certainly not as a matter that seems to become routine, as seems to be the case at LHR. I have never seen queues at US immigration backing up to escalators or elevators coming from from arrivals gates. There has never been a threat (even rhetorical) of having flights circle US airports or be barred from disembarking passengers because queues at passport control are too long. And (not that it matters to passengers caught in the queue) slow processing at US immigration has to do with national paranoia, not with staffing reductions caused by budget cuts despite some of the world's highest--and ever-increasing--airport and passenger taxes and duties.
The key words in my earlier message were "an inkling".
45128 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 1:24 am
  #157  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London
Programs: Mucci Grandee (Upgraded), BA Silver, AZ MilleMiglia
Posts: 3,097
Originally Posted by prof View Post
There is an editorial about the airport queues crisis in the FT:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/27f36...44feab49a.html
Also a piece in yesterday's Times from the former head of the UK border authority (after whose dismissal a rule was introduced whereby the biometric chips on all passports should be automatically checked using a tick-box process, rather than the previous risk-based system which worked better in that it produced a greater "hit rate" of miscreants being apprehended). Behind the paywall, so can't link here.

Here's hoping that the increasing fuss that is being made in all sections of the media, combined with the forthcoming Olympics, will lead the Home Office to see sense and reintroduce risk-based assessment.
BAAZ is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 1:40 am
  #158  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: BOS
Programs: BA - Blue > Bronze > Silver > Bronze > Blue
Posts: 6,554
Why do we pay all this APD again, can someone remind me?
Cap'n Benj is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 2:02 am
  #159  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 550
Originally Posted by BAAZ View Post
Also a piece in yesterday's Times from the former head of the UK border authority (after whose dismissal a rule was introduced whereby the biometric chips on all passports should be automatically checked using a tick-box process, rather than the previous risk-based system which worked better in that it produced a greater "hit rate" of miscreants being apprehended). Behind the paywall, so can't link here.

Here's hoping that the increasing fuss that is being made in all sections of the media, combined with the forthcoming Olympics, will lead the Home Office to see sense and reintroduce risk-based assessment.
Yes but the FT piece and others also make clear that some of the logjam has been caused by budget cuts and staff reductions, so even if they change the policy there will still be problems because of staff shortages----despite the ever-increasing APD.
prof is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 2:03 am
  #160  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: GVA
Programs: BA Gold, LH FTL, KL/AF Ivory
Posts: 1,787
Originally Posted by Skipcool3 View Post
If you are going to defect to LX catandmouse then consider using LCY......
But don't tell everybody.

No good if you live in Windsor I guess!!
Actually I do that if I'm going into London. Unfortunately my parents are in Maidenhead!
catandmouse is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 2:47 am
  #161  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East Anglia, England
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by Cap'n Benj View Post
Why do we pay all this APD again, can someone remind me?
Because it is a 'good' and easy source of raising money Sort of like the ridiculousness of
increasing fuel duty just for the sake of doing so.

H
Hoch is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 2:52 am
  #162  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: From ORK, live LCY
Programs: Pretty much all gone these days
Posts: 13,026
Originally Posted by Phinn View Post
Do you mean using a biometric passport to go through the automatic turnstiles? If so, I'm not sure where your member of staff got that info from - names have nothing to do with the process. More likely to be a dodgy chip or a poor photo issue.
Could be that his name matches a hit list of suspicious people, so they need an official to check that he is not the miscreant they're looking for.
stifle is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 5:22 am
  #163  
formerly known as DeltaNYC
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: YYZ, mostly...
Programs: *A Gold / OW Sapphire / Marriott Titanium / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,398
Couple of months ago I was stuck in the non-UK/EU line for more than 2 hrs (morning arrival around 8:30 am).

A few weeks ago I was able to join the UK/EU line due to my wife's EU status, which took about 20 mins.

I agree that the situation is unacceptable, but at least the staff were much nicer compared to the boons manning the passport control desks at US airports.
Far Siren is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 5:27 am
  #164  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 191
APD is no more for funding the UK Borders than the Road Fund Licence is for funding roads. Both a just a form a taxation for the general use of UK plc
Chris C is offline  
Old Apr 24, 12, 5:58 am
  #165  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Lewes
Programs: HiltonH. Gold Starwood Gold BA BLUES! Mucci.
Posts: 4,722
Chris C..... that has become quite apparent.

The point (A lot of us here) are trying to make is that slightly more of the money raised in APD should be spent on making OUR border secure and fit for purpose.

The same argument could (should) be applied to repairing the terrible state of the roads and RFL.

Every upset businessman, every tourist that has to wait in line for hours and hours..... will be a net loss to UKPLC in the long run. Because we can't fund a border force! Short-term politic..... long term pain.
Skipcool3 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: