Skip the Heathrow nightmare? Only if you're rich
Seems interesting, though I wonder how this will differ from the current general fast track lines at LHR - whether this will just be an additional fast track queue (with perhaps the introduction of fast track queues at other UK airports that may not have them already), or whether this will be a VIP-only escorted entry?The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has disclosed that it is working on plans for fast-track passport lanes for rich travellers at Heathrow and other British airports so they can avoid any repeat of the two-hour queues seen this year.
Brian Moore, the departing head of the UK Border Force, told MPs that ''high value'' people who were considered valuable passengers by the airlines or valuable to the British economy would be given priority treatment at immigration control under the plans. It would be an extension of a priority queueing system trialled this year at Heathrow, under which passengers from Australia, Canada, the US, New Zealand and other, mainly ''old Commonwealth'' countries who do not need a visa to enter Britain would be fast-tracked.
In late December last year, I used the fast track line at LHR T3 arrivals (express pass from QF), and we were through in about 25 minutes, while the main queue apparently had delays of about 2 hours. If this creates an additional (and faster) 'fast track' service, then I wonder if QF will reserve the higher cards for only F pax and CLs, or if this would extend to WP1s (or even WPs as well), with J pax still receiving the current 'fast track' invitations. Also interesting the comment made in the article about those "valuable to the British economy" - I'm curious as to how the border staff would be able to identify such individuals who are arriving under the VWP (ie. those that aren't entering under the "high value" visas (UK Border Agency | High-value migrants), or if it is restricted to those visa types only... only time will tell!