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Heathrow Airport seven-hour queues 'inhumane' at arrivals

Heathrow Airport seven-hour queues 'inhumane' at arrivals

Old Mar 14, 2021, 2:38 pm
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Heathrow Airport seven-hour queues 'inhumane' at arrivals

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56209431

I have to travel to Heathrow in the next few weeks and I would like to avoid turning up at the busiest times. Does anybody know if there is anywhere on the web that shows passenger arrival numbers / popular time - kind of like the google bar charts showing "it's a little busier than normal at Ikea" type thing?

Apart from manually looking at the flight arrivals and the number of planes (which of course could be near empty or completely full) - I would think pre-covid avoiding Fridays / Sundays / Mondays / early mornings / evenings would have been my best guess, but who knows what weekly travel patterns look like now.
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Old Mar 14, 2021, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by bobhope2
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56209431

I have to travel to Heathrow in the next few weeks and I would like to avoid turning up at the busiest times. Does anybody know if there is anywhere on the web that shows passenger arrival numbers / popular time - kind of like the google bar charts showing "it's a little busier than normal at Ikea" type thing?

Apart from manually looking at the flight arrivals and the number of planes (which of course could be near empty or completely full) - I would think pre-covid avoiding Fridays / Sundays / Mondays / early mornings / evenings would have been my best guess, but who knows what weekly travel patterns look like now.
In post https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/33078733-post6333.html DaveS has kindly provided a guide to the number of flight arrivals through the day at T2 if that helps.

I came into T2 this morning (Sunday), flight landed at 6.10 from IAD, and there were 20 passengers on my flight. They were segregating people based on passport - not sure exactly how. I thought the person in front of me said he was from Austria, but I could have misheard. They sent him and me to the egate side, where there was one person checking docs (queue depth was 2-3 people in front of me), then waving us onward to the egates. The egate depth was about 1-2 people and I was through the whole thing in less than 5 minutes. The non egate side looked like much longer lines, although probably no more than pre-Covid non egate lines, maybe 40 people deep, with a few desks open.

So your processing time may also depend a lot on what passport you are traveling on.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by bobhope2
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56209431

I have to travel to Heathrow in the next few weeks and I would like to avoid turning up at the busiest times. Does anybody know if there is anywhere on the web that shows passenger arrival numbers / popular time - kind of like the google bar charts showing "it's a little busier than normal at Ikea" type thing?

Apart from manually looking at the flight arrivals and the number of planes (which of course could be near empty or completely full) - I would think pre-covid avoiding Fridays / Sundays / Mondays / early mornings / evenings would have been my best guess, but who knows what weekly travel patterns look like now.
Nothing 'live' exists on the Internet, I think (there are dashboards, I remember seeing them on screens in Compass Centre). Monthly performance reports are here: https://www.heathrow.com/company/abo...rmance-reports
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 3:01 am
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From what I've read on here, it seems that these huge queue are generally in the early evening - which means that some people aren't getting through until the early hours of the following day.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA
From what I've read on here, it seems that these huge queue are generally in the early evening - which means that some people aren't getting through until the early hours of the following day.
by which time ground transportation may be a problem. I recall finally emerging in the baggage hall at 1:30am after a delayed flight and a three hour queue in immigration with only two staff on duty and no e-gates, and encountering a girl in her late teens who had missed the last bus into the centre of London. In view of the recent incident re women walking alone at night, one might think someone had a duty of care in such cases. But who?
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by 1P
by which time ground transportation may be a problem. I recall finally emerging in the baggage hall at 1:30am after a delayed flight and a three hour queue in immigration with only two staff on duty and no e-gates, and encountering a girl in her late teens who had missed the last bus into the centre of London. In view of the recent incident re women walking alone at night, one might think someone had a duty of care in such cases. But who?
I don't want to diminish your very valid concern, especially after last week's shocking events, but the N9 bus should run throughout the night (don't know about now with the pandemic but I've taken it on a weekly basis when working shifts). It's sad, however, that the infrastructure of one of the world's great cities can be so poor. We have one of the most expensive public transport systems in the world, even when allowing for purchasing power differences, and yet we have a big interchange station like Hatton X with no elevators/lifts, we routinely stop a lot of the network over weekends for maintenance and it took ages for night trains on weekend...which are now gone, returning when God wants.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by 13901
I don't want to diminish your very valid concern, especially after last week's shocking events, but the N9 bus should run throughout the night (don't know about now with the pandemic but I've taken it on a weekly basis when working shifts). It's sad, however, that the infrastructure of one of the world's great cities can be so poor. We have one of the most expensive public transport systems in the world, even when allowing for purchasing power differences, and yet we have a big interchange station like Hatton X with no elevators/lifts, we routinely stop a lot of the network over weekends for maintenance and it took ages for night trains on weekend...which are now gone, returning when God wants.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by 1P
by which time ground transportation may be a problem. I recall finally emerging in the baggage hall at 1:30am after a delayed flight and a three hour queue in immigration with only two staff on duty and no e-gates, and encountering a girl in her late teens who had missed the last bus into the centre of London. In view of the recent incident re women walking alone at night, one might think someone had a duty of care in such cases. But who?
Who?

If a teenager as in child, then her parents or guardians.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 10:41 am
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Is this primarily a LHR T2 thing or is T5/LGW/STN/LTN equally affected?
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by LCY8737
Is this primarily a LHR T2 thing or is T5/LGW/STN/LTN equally affected?
Had a friend pass through LHR T2 a week and a bit ago on an SQ flight with e-gates open and only a few people in the non-EU lane.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by LCY8737
Is this primarily a LHR T2 thing or is T5/LGW/STN/LTN equally affected?
I was wondering the same thing. Seems like most reports are indeed coming out of T2.
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Old Mar 16, 2021, 8:46 am
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I landed at T5 on Sunday afternoon and thought I had it bad with an hour's wait. Sounds like I got off lightly.
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Old Mar 16, 2021, 8:47 am
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Anyone know when fast track is coming back? The fact it was eliminated in the first place is completely ridiculous.
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Old Mar 16, 2021, 3:34 pm
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Just to share my experiance coming off a Qatar flight in T5 Sunday, so on landed at 7:40 we were told only in groups of 20 we could leave flight and asked to have our Covid Test, Locater and Package details ready. As always people dont listen! When we left the flight and joined a small line at the gate. Here most people rather then have papers ready to show needed to get papers out or shuffle for the sake of it. I was able to flash the papers and move on. Line at border control had three individuals checking papers before allowing users to use the e-gates. Took me an hour to navigate the line, it was around 9pm by the time I had my luggage and called a taxi to get me back to the car park.
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Old Mar 17, 2021, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian
Anyone know when fast track is coming back? The fact it was eliminated in the first place is completely ridiculous.
It wouldn’t really greatly help you even if it returned tomorrow. You start queuing long before you even reach the immigration hall, and there’s no way of short-cutting that (e.g. you can’t proclaim you’re a UK passport holder with a completed PLF who hasn’t visited a red country and waltz to the front).

With current working practices meaning Border Force officers are forming bubbles to reduce transmission risk, it would be a nonsense to continue to offer fast track. All it would do is substantially increase the queueing time for everyone else so a relatively few people could save 30 minutes in 7 hours at worst case queueing time.
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