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Old 28th Apr 2012, 12:12   #41 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Luton/Tenerife
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Ever tried getting into the states via JFK....the LHR queues are nothing compared to those over the pond.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 14:36   #42 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
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You'll be reassured to know that:
Quote:
The UK Border Force says it is "fully prepared to manage busy periods" such as the Olympics despite criticism over recent delays at Heathrow Airport.
Phew, that's a relief. I was worried that we Brits would make a hash of it.

BBC News - Heathrow queues: Border Force 'ready' for Olympics
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 14:45   #43 (permalink)
 
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The UK Border Force has been cut to the quick, odd considering the Conservatives are keen to prevent mass immigraition. Only a moron could be shocked that chronic underfunding and not paying enough money in the right places means the end product is shabby.
I don't object to cuts in public spending but *in the right places* for goodness sake.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 16:01   #44 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Cape Town / UK / Europe
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Quote:
Ever tried getting into the states via JFK....the LHR queues are nothing compared to those over the pond.
Yes, and I found it remarkably quick and stress free, despite all the negativity one hears. Certainly far better than LHR.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 16:39   #45 (permalink)
 
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Consider this: Whenever you check in for a flight to the UK, your passport details are taken by the airline and whizzed to the UK by the marvellous world-wide interwebby thing. That means the UKBA will generally have had prior notice of your arrival for something like a minimum of two hours. Now, if I've got this right, they know who they've issued visas to, who's a national, who's entitled to be in Britain and more importantly, who's not. Special Branch can also match their list against the 'inbounds' and identify those of interest. So, all the UKBA have to do, is make sure the people who get off the flight are those who checked in. How hard can it be?

Personally I think Wallies at the top of the UKBA haven't a clue what their job is all about. Additionally, they have no understanding of how technology can help them nor of how to design a system. They are also scared fartless of someone complaining about their human rights being breached. This results in pointless waiting in queues, systems which don't speak to each other, the ridiculous Landing Cards and hundreds of "Asylum" bludgers illegally landing in Britain each week.

As it runs at the moment, the system is a waste of cash and time.

PM

PS. You can stick the L*nd*n 2*12 event (I can't mention it by name, as that would be a criminal offence) where the sun doesn't shine. Any event that requires an Act to make the infringement of sponsorship deals a criminal offence can screw itself. This fiasco will be one of the most expensive job and business destroying events we've seen in Britain. I'll be truly glad when it's all over.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 19:02   #46 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Planet Earth
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I'm really surprised that this is news now. Every time I have arrived into Heathrow in the last three years I have had to wait at least two hours to get through immigration. Admittedly this is usually Terminal Three (I think the video here was Terminal 5?). Now Terminal Three is an awful terminal to get out of - apparently the shops are more important than having somewhere for the passengers to sit . But returning has been an awful experience every single time.

Whilst waiting in the queue I could at least amuse myself by realising that it took me less time last year to fly from Ho Chi Minh city to Bangkok to get my connecting flight to Heathrow than it did to get from one end of Immigration to the other!

The other appalling situation is how people are treated - a lot of the time you watch as people who don't speak much English are introduced to the traditional English translation method whereby they are talked at in an ever increasing volume to aid comprehension and to assist them with completing their arrival forms. A truly awful introduction to the UK. I notice someone compared JFK with Heathrow - again exceptionally long queues there but my experience has always been that that is shorter than on the return trip to Heathrow.

I now try and avoid Heathrow as much as possible because of this.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 19:20   #47 (permalink)
1DC
 
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Arrived at T3 about a month ago at about 1730 on a Monday and got through in about 5 minutes. Six months earlier about the same time at T4..
Hope I haven't put the evil eye on myself for next time!!
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 20:09   #48 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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You've done it now....!

Admittedly every time I come in it is early in the morning when most long haul flights come in. However you would think the Border Agency may have been able to pick up on that fact! And obviously plan accordingly. But I think that is where the problems are.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 21:03   #49 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
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Quote:
I'm really surprised that this is news now.
It's only news to politicians, Shropshire Lad! And the media are being helpful, I would say, to highlight this. Of course, in September, it will all go back to normal.

I wasn't born cynical, I just live in Britain.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 21:20   #50 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I know. I'm just watching the news now and looking at the Terminal 5 video. That is nothing compared to what I've experienced in T3. It is good that the media are highlighting this. However I suspect that this is just further evidence that if you cut the cash then the service suffers. A "no sh**t sherlock" moment. Unfortunately as this appears to be the general direction of travel for the UK we shouldn't be surprised when this kind of thing becomes the norm for all public services in the next year.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 21:55   #51 (permalink)
 
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I came through terminal 4 around 6pm on the 25th, the Immigration area was packed with queues going down the corridors, I was lucky enough to use the electronic entry which took less than 5 minutes, but anyone in the other nationals line was looking at a bleak couple of hours of standing around.

As this is low season, I will be extremely impressed to see how they cope during the Olympics.

Mutt
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 23:15   #52 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
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You know that the host nation gets to designate a new sport?

"Who can get through T3 border control the fastest?"

Judging will be by UK residents, from their sofa's with remote voting. That way - we get some X-factor style and call it. "Britain's Got Pax"
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 09:55   #53 (permalink)
 
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Compared to Miami, LHR is a breeze.................
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 10:11   #54 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Compared to Miami, LHR is a breeze.................
And compared to Frankfurt, Amsterdam and CDG? Why do we always have to compare ourselves to the Americans?
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 11:52   #55 (permalink)
 
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Location: south of Cirencester, north of Lyneham
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55 minutes at ORD. Two staff at a time when 3 744s and 2 777s arrive. Only 3 to deal with US citizens.

Your tax dollars at work.....
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 13:46   #56 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 225
Quote:
Every time I have arrived into Heathrow in the last three years I have had to wait at least two hours to get through immigration.
Far be it for me to question the validity of your assertions, but ....... was that once or twice you flew then ?

Okay, its a while since I did lots of long haul, but either you're someone who needs to be checked thoroughly, you're the statistical tail of the probability curve or your memory is faulty.
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 16:31   #57 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: essex
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two points:

1. if it is bad now, what would it be like with a third runway?

2.i agree we should not compare with the USA. they have a reputation of under-funding public facilities eg their post office. it has been said that infrastructure in the USA suffers from the contrast of 'private affluence, public squalor'.
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 17:39   #58 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Planet Earth
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Quote:
Far be it for me to question the validity of your assertions, but ....... was that once or twice you flew then ?

Okay, its a while since I did lots of long haul, but either you're someone who needs to be checked thoroughly, you're the statistical tail of the probability curve or your memory is faulty.
It is quite a few times - can't quite remember exactly how many. Had it been once or twice i would put it down to chance, however it's every single time. I'm not claiming that this will be everyone's experience and to be fair it has always been long haul. However I have spoken with others who have had a similar experiences (again long haul and bizarrely more often than not T3). I was making no claims to statistical probability, however the number of times it has occurred to me seems to suggest that it happens quite regularly.

I wouldn't think that they would know I was someone who needs to be checked thoroughly as the line usually stretches from the desks to the entrance door of the immigration hall. Clearly they don't know who you are when you enter and I generally get from the red line at the desk to past the desks in around 30 seconds! Suggests to me that the bulk of the wait is getting to the desk!

The main reason, I guess, is that there is that period of time in the morning when a lot of long hauls come into the airport depositing a huge number of people at the same time. Probably at some point the Border Agency might notice this and perhaps consider scheduling an appropriate number of staff to cover this period. Who knows??
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 10:14   #59 (permalink)
Paxing All Over The World
 
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Posts: 6,991
This is amusing:
Heathrow airport told to stop giving out leaflets over delays - Home News - UK - The Independent
Quote:
Heathrow airport has been ordered by the Border Force to stop handing out leaflets to passengers acknowledging the “very long delays” at immigration. Amid increasing anger at the length of queues for travellers arriving at border control, airport operator BAA has tried to defuse tensions with a leaflet apologising for the problems. It said people arriving in the country “deserved a warmer welcome” and explained how to complain to the Home Office.

But Marc Owen, director of UK Border Agency operations at Heathrow, has told BAA that the leaflets are “inappropriate” and that ministers would take “a very dim view”.

In an email obtained by The Daily Telegraph, he said: “The leaflet... is both inflammatory and likely to increase tensions in arrivals halls especially in the current atmosphere. “It is inappropriate in that it is not for you to display how to complain on our behalf.

“Please refrain from handing out (the leaflets) or I will escalate (the matter) with ministers who are likely to take a very dim view. I know there are copies in the hall and your troops are ready with them.”

Mr Owen also told BAA to prevent passengers taking pictures in the arrivals hall. Pictures of lengthy queues have been posted on Twitter by frustrated people.
So, let's not allow people to take pictures and don't encourage them to complain - and everything will be all right ...

For once, I side with BAA who are trying to ensure they don't get the blame that belongs to the Border Agency, i.e. the Home Office.
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 10:32   #60 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: south of Cirencester, north of Lyneham
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I feel sorry for the poor staff who man the desks. At the same time, I'd like to see a public flogging for the UKBA head and the Home Secretary for allowing this state of affairs to happen.
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