View Full Version : Gatwick Customs to close all crew channels...

17th Feb 2005, 10:52
And for the latest bit of madness:

HM Customs & Excise are pushing a proposal to close the crew channels at Concorde House and Jubilee House. This would force all arriving crews to enter via the passenger terminals (South & North) before making their way back to the crew room. This proposal is being advanced to take effect from 10 April.

I'm not sure if anyone else thinks this is lunacy, but I guess there won't be too many contenders for landing back from a night Tenerife, marching through the terminal to clear Customs through the passenger channels and then having to run the gauntlet of getting through the terminal building to get back to the crew room in Concorde or Jubilee.

The Air Operators' Committee at Gatwick is already having a spirited bash to overturn this proposal, but I think this may be one where some more action is required....like everyone writing to Customs & Excise individually to complain about the massive inconvenience that this will cause?

Quite apart from anything else, I guess airlines will be concerned about the extra crews required due to the major increase in the post-flight duty time as a result of this change.

Does anyone have any other bright ideas on how to fight this one?

17th Feb 2005, 10:56
At LHR BA crew who commute from abroad have been asking and fighting for this for years i.e. the opportunity to clear through passenger channels like we do everywhere else in the world.

BALPA have done their best, pursuing the issue at very highest levels, but H. M. C. & E. will not budge for no defensible reason. Now we have LGW H. M. C. & E. imposing the very thing many would like at LHR.

17th Feb 2005, 11:43
I'm up for complaining, does anyone have an address where letters could be sent too. I have enough trouble after a night flight getting back to the crew room the way things are now, let alone going all that way.

17th Feb 2005, 12:36
This happened at Cardiff last summer due to I believe new CAA rulings. Cant remember exactly what they were?

Perhaps the Gatwick decision was mandatory to tie in with new reg's??

In trim
17th Feb 2005, 14:26
You are right that this seems to have momentum behind it and is likely to happen at some point. However, it really hasn't been thought through.

Where do crew collect crew baggage from? At peak times in both terminals there is major congestion in the baggage halls.

Should crew bags be delivered on the same belt as passenger bags?

Which immigration point do crews clear through? It might be fine for local-based crews who are invariably EU passport holders, but what about all the long-haul crews of multiple non-EU nationalities. Are they expected to join the morning chaos at the Non-EU immigration point? Not heard anything about a separate crew channel.

For some airlines this may be better (e.g. North Terminal carriers who do not have access to the Jubilee house Customs and have to clear through Concorde), but it will directly impact others for whom this will cause operational problems.

17th Feb 2005, 15:52
I'm with M Mouse...please get them to do this at LHR as well:D

17th Feb 2005, 20:08
Speaking from a position of pure guesswork ... It's money. This will save HMCE and the carriers money. Offer to replace that money and you will keep separate channels. If it does not happen this year, then it will next.

18th Feb 2005, 10:06
SASKATOON9999 - "Just how often have you been met by an officer at crew customs?"

This NEVER happens!! canīt see how this would save them any considerable amount of money.....normaly there's a guy (by the looks age 15 :E ) sitting half asleep barely looking at you as you pass....... You could bring in whatever you'd like there without being questioned.....Perhaps that's the issue here ;) :}

Right Way Up
18th Feb 2005, 10:14
Does anyone know if this will affect EU arrivals?

Spearing Britney
18th Feb 2005, 16:40
Crew customs at Gatwick are becoming increasingly active with checks on crews. To say there is never anyone there is false. They have their target flights, those destinations where crew may be more tempted to take more than allowed, and these are the ones they check.

Mister Slot
21st Feb 2005, 00:33
Although at times it might be a bit irksome, my advice would be to run with it for a while. Just ensure that your achieved rest starts from your actual end of duty and not "blocks plus 30."

When the delays start mounting up, I suspect a resolution may well be forthcoming!!

21st Feb 2005, 07:48
Agree with Mister Slot

ALL delays caused by this (before and after flight until off duty) must go on the journey log or legal equivalent.

Duty times will escalate.

22nd Feb 2005, 13:02
Hmmmm. Checked with the customs guy going thru the channel, yesterday, after a long-haul trip, and he said that he had never heard of this proposal.

Mind you, I then got a full body search for my impudence! Ouch!

24th Feb 2005, 21:01
Got rummaged at LGW at the end of January, for first time in many years. Inb'd from BGI so they're probably targeting these flights, as they did a few years back.
All in de spirit of Jah, mon!

25th Feb 2005, 11:52
Their not just doing WW flights I came in from EDI last week and they did a random search and they did say they will be at JBH a lot more but didnt specify when as they want the Crew Channel left open as they didnt want their fellow colleagues to face job losses.

give me an axe
25th Feb 2005, 13:16
This has just recently been imposed at BHX and is a real farce as customs are never there anyway !!!!!

25th Feb 2005, 17:12
Don't know what happens to BHX crews in T2, but in T1 we have ALWAYS had to go through pax customs inbound.

As it happens it's the way back to landside crew rooms anyhow, so no issue. Customs have done random checks on us over the years, and I have no problem with it.

Going through the terminal at LGW though would be horrendous prior to going to JBH. To be avoided at all costs!!!!!