Cautionary Tale re Border Control at LHR

Reply

Jan 2nd, 2019, 05:15 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62,942
Cautionary Tale re Border Control at LHR

Just a cautionary tale for anyone considering connecting on separate tix through LHR: Late Saturday afternoon I flew BA FRA in to LHR Terminal 5 (was flying back to the States on Sunday noon-ish so I didn't have a connecting flight on Sat). The total flight time was 1:25. . . . And the line for Passport control took 37 minutes longer than the entire flight. Yes, two hours/two minutes from entering the queue til my passport was checked. This was the Non-UK/Non-EU line. The UK/EU line of course moved faster, but it still was VERY long. Even the 'expedited' (business class, etc) line looked to be taking nearly 30 minutes.

Needless to say no one had to wait for bags to come out on the carousel

Now, it WAS the Saturday after Christmas so lots of travelers. But every desk was staffed and it seemed they were processing as fast as they could. It was the longest I've ever seen there.

Just an example of what can happen . . .
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 2nd, 2019, 05:28 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 116
Thanks for the heads up.
greytop13 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 2nd, 2019, 07:15 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,278
Interesting since it seemed well-staffed and no real hiccups. I have never had to wait in line that long even when LHR had a computer breakdown years ago. Perhaps they had several flights coming in early or late. It would be good to know exactly what the problem was.
historytraveler is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2019, 03:03 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,293
Originally Posted by historytraveler View Post
It would be good to know exactly what the problem was.
The problem was that it was the Saturday after Christmas. It is one of the busiest times of the year so unsurprisingly extra time is needed to get through airports. If you don't travel thu LHR much then all this might seem surprising or unusual. I've been in lines that take hours and that was in the EU/UK passport line and it wasn't Xmas.
Odin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2019, 02:42 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,695
If you had been connecting directly from Frankfurt or Mumbai or Rome to the US or elsewhere not in the UK, you would not have gone through passport control in the first place.
Unless you had seperate tickets AND checked luggage AND no interline agreement between both airlines - so you had to go landside to collect and re-check your bags.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2019, 02:47 PM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62,942
>>If you had been connecting directly from Frankfurt or Mumbai or Rome to the US or elsewhere not in the UK, you would not have gone through passport control in the first place.<<

Yes -- I know that. That wasn't the point of the post.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2019, 03:34 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,695
You started the post saying this was for anyone connecting on seperate tickets through Heathrow.
But flying on seperate tickets does not mean that you have to go through passport control, unless... (see above).
Had there been lines only at the staffed border control desks or also at the e-gates?
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2019, 12:07 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,232
Regardless, I have noticed lines getting longer at Heathrow Border Control in recent years, and it will only get worse after Brexit if EU passport holders must join the “all others” queue. Sometimes, when travelling with my daughter who has a UK passport, I am able to stay with her as a family member instead of going to “all others” with my US passport.
Heimdall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 6th, 2019, 09:20 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,002
For comparison, I believe that the busy day for travellers using the Channel Tunnel shuttles with their cars is at the end of the February school half-term. That's when families are returning from ski-ing holidays.
My point is that different countries have different social practices, and that what might pass unnoticed in one country is another country's busy time.
chartley is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:45 PM.