Heathrow Terminal 5 immigration staff confess to queue struggles

by Tiffany Millar on April 30, 2012

Immigration staff at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five have today confirmed that struggles with huge queues have been experienced recently, after a leaked memo stated that passengers have been forced into two hour-waits just to reach passport checkpoints.

Since the weekend, the situation has apparently improved. This will come as a relief to airport authorities who have had to face reports of immigration halls reaching “breaking point”. One Border Force agent, declining the opportunity to be named, told newspapers that Saturday was “terrible” and Friday was “horrendous”.

The agent was just one of eight immigration officers that manned a total of 25 passport counters for all non-EU nationals, which are clearly insufficient in times of heavy traffic. Today, the biggest delays so far were experienced after an 8:10 flight came from Paris’ Orly Airport.

Once in Terminal Five, a number of of purple-sashed members of staff from the BAA came to help out and wave any new arrivals to the immigration queues. To add further heat to the situation, the UK Border Agency has blasted the BAA for taking the risk of tension increasing at Heathrow through not handing out leaflets to passengers that apologised for the waits.

The UK Border Agency has been enforcing tougher immigration regulations lately, as well as tougher Customs Regulations. Signs have been put up around Heathrow that inform passengers the might be subjected to 45 minute waits just to get into the country.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: Scenic Tours raises river cruise bar

Next post: Visitors to Iceland allowed to take volcano tour