View Full Version : Paying for passport control

4th May 2012, 08:05
Given the delays processing passengers through passport control at some UK airports... Would you pay extra not to have to queue?

It only takes a very short time to check a passport so the manpower cost per passenger must be quite small.

B Fraser
4th May 2012, 08:30
The queues in London are nothing out of the ordinary. You should see them at a number of airports in the Carribean. I've been to third world / emergent / developing / sh*thole countries that require you to jump through more pointless hoops than an olympic gymnast. Queues for some passengers could be shortened on the basis of profiling however the huggy fluffs would start screaming discrimination.

Why can't airlines charge a fee for an immigration officer to validate and stamp documents on a flight ? The pax that have cleared immigration can be validated as such with a thumb print scan that can be downloaded via existing air to ground datalinks to the security gate in the arrival airport. Pax would then be allowed through to baggage reclaim after providing a matching thumb scan. Those that can't or whose records trigger an exception on the relevant database would be invited for a little chat.

4th May 2012, 10:01
If you arrive by ferry in a UK registered car all you have to do is hold up your British passport and you barely have to slow down at immigration control. Even my son, who drives a German registered LHD car, is rarely detained for more than 10 seconds. Why all the peering and tight-lipped inspecting at airports?

4th May 2012, 10:26
APD keeps going up and the service down - just like about everything else. Ministerial heads should roll - just what the hell does Camerloon think he's playing at?

There's no wonder both Toriesl and LibDems did badly in yesterday's e;lections.

tony draper
4th May 2012, 11:00
Ministerial heads roll? this is not the 1950s,first thing to do if selected for cabinet rank,employ a sword faller oner to work alongside to take the bullet for you when the inevitable happens.

4th May 2012, 11:10
Pay for passport control? Seeing as the taxes are the highest for travel from UK airports I would say we do pay, on the way out.

Squeezy, and everyone else, won't board me if I haven't filled in the APIS information. What do they do with that information? What they should be doing in matching my passport to APIS data, match my passport photo to my face - Bob's your uncle. 10 seconds max!

But this implies that they would do something with all this APIS data that is submitted to them.

Metro man
4th May 2012, 11:43
Quite common in Asia, available at a number of airports including Bangkok.

ThaiFasttrack.com - Airport Fasttrack Service (http://www.thaifasttrack.com/)

eastern wiseguy
4th May 2012, 12:43
When flying to the US from Dublin Mrs EW and I clear immigration before we leave. The US authorities do all the processing there and then. The bonus is we arrive as a domestic flight into the US......and bypass ALL queues.

Could UK not institute something similar?

4th May 2012, 12:58
As a domestic flight, do they still have duty free on board?

4th May 2012, 13:04
I go to the biometric gates where a machine scans the passport, then scans you. However, the chip in my passport is rogered so I have to go and get the passport scanned manually, but the queue there is minimal so I always get through quite quickly, although I do get somewhat delayed by the fawning nitwits who want to know "can I help you today? If you'd like to go to that scanner for me today..."

Ancient Observer
4th May 2012, 13:06
If the border control folk have Billions of our tax to spend, couldn't they spend more on bums on seats at airports, and less on aspidistras at Head Office.

(Or is that Head Orifice?)

4th May 2012, 13:10
employ a sword faller oner to work alongside to take the bullet for you
Nicely mixed metaphors, there, Maitre D'. :ok:

Have they not ceased issuing chipped passports? Along with IRIS, a lot of money hase been wasted on failed technological entry checks. How many officers could that money have put in the line???

eastern wiseguy
4th May 2012, 13:40

No.......but you are able to purchase it at the Duty Free stores in Dublin airport before the US immigration.

Dan Gerous
4th May 2012, 13:49
Instead of doing everyone at Theifrow or Shatwick, why don't they allow passengers on connecting flights through and held in a secure airside area, and they can then be processed at the regional airport they get off at.

4th May 2012, 15:03
Regulars here wil know that Mr and Mrs OFSO gave up on flying machines years ago and now travel from Spain to England via Monsieurs Alstom's Iron Horse.

The UK Border Agency checks passengers at Paris Gare de Nord, it takes seconds to do, and I have not seen a queue there in the past two years.

Never known it to take longer than five minutes from arriving at the Eurostar entrance to being in the departure lounge enjoying a refreshing champagne cocktail and looking at that cute little teenager, the one in the mini-skirt and (continued page 94)

On departure, French border agency and security checks at St Pancras do take longer, but again, never known it to be in excess of ten minutes.

4th May 2012, 15:15
Ah, the UK is finally catching up with the Third World!

When I used to fly my millionaire into a Mexican regional airport, it was $10 to the Immigration Guy, $20 to the Customs man and a nice present for the Airport Manager's children (he was above cheap bribery:cool:) and we were cleared in about 5 minutes.

..and when you added it all up, total 'charges' in Mexico were the same as the USA charges on the way back, for the same level of service. At least in Mexico you knew almost all of it was going to the guys who actually did the work.

4th May 2012, 15:21
the whole situation is nothing more than politiking.

As B fRaser points out, travel to many countries, including the US, and be prepared for a wait.

The population bitched and moaned about porus borders and the UK letting any Tom, Dick or Abu Qatada in and demanded stricter checks.

Stricter checks ? I have to wait ? Gosh !

i've been in and out of the UK god knows how many times in the past 12 months, even as recently as a couple of days ago, and i'm off again in a couple of days. longest i've had to wait... 90 seconds..

So, where's the politiking then ?

Well funnily enough: Union warns border agency cuts make lengthy queues at airports more likely | Politics | The Observer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/apr/29/heathrow-border-agency-delays-cuts)

"the Public and Commercial Services union has warned staff cuts at the Border Agency will make tackling the queues difficult,"

oh and now there's a border agency strike on the 10th.

it has chuff all to do with queues and more to do with militant union power, of course with the bonus for just doing the same job they do every day, during the olympics TGWU and RMT union strong armed an olympic bonus, so why shouldn't other unions and with the added benefit of trying to make it a coalition issue.

next !

4th May 2012, 15:27
It's all right. They've announced they are relaxing the rules http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/censored.gif load of http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/censored.gif

tony draper
4th May 2012, 16:29
It's not the people coming in that has em worried it's all the buggas who will refuse to leave when it's all over.

4th May 2012, 17:34
So what are the going rates for fastrack that some have paid ?

4th May 2012, 19:21
Pay not to queue?!! Are you kidding me?

As a UK citizen, my taxes already pay these guys to get me through border control quickly and efficiently. If they can't do that, we ought to be demanding a rebate!

How much would the rebate be?

I was trying to estimate what the manpower cost was of checking a passport? How many man seconds per passport does it take? Your rebate might not be very much.

4th May 2012, 22:43
Stansted is copping it tonight according to news reports.

6th May 2012, 20:41
You really have to admire JC, the UK needs more like him :D:D

Jeremy Clarkson claims airport delays could be solved with 'a bit of racism' - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9247835/Jeremy-Clarkson-claims-airport-delays-could-be-solved-with-a-bit-of-racism.html)

B Fraser
6th May 2012, 21:26
JC is absolutely correct but no politician wants to alienate the ethnic vote. On the return from the annual Le Mans pilgrimage, the immigration people at Dover spot the tanned but knackered racegoers in their sports cars and get them through as quickly as possible. Common sense in action :ok:

6th May 2012, 21:43
Did I hear on R4 this evening that some folks ARE paying extra in order not to queue? Reception wasn't too good, so I may have misheard.

The UK Government doesn't go for hypothecation of taxes: in other words, they don't get spent on what they are taken for. So Road Fund Licence isn't spent on roads, and Air Passenger Tax isn't spent on aviation. That's why the CAA has to charge fees, I think.

6th May 2012, 22:04
I'm a fan of the Spanish approach. fat bored guy with a zapata tache barely glancing at the proffered passport. Might have been a Guinness book of records attempt come to think of it.

7th May 2012, 09:38
TankerTrash is quite correct. Whenever I come back to UK via Ferry or Tunnel, I get waived through apart from one occasion when as the Customs guy said 'its a bit quiet and we have quotas to meet, its the same for the Immigration control guys....'

UK airports, Stansted for one, can be a nightmare but compared to the Caribbean and some airports in the US !

nb - when did all this 'Border and Homeland' jargon suddenly become the norm ?
For that matter, the BBC this morning had a Police spokesman referring to his colleagues as 'Cops' - I always thought they were Police Officers; bring back George Dixon and all will be well - 'evening all'.

7th May 2012, 11:17
Keef. May be something to do with this. Watching Have I got News For You last night the immigration queues were one subject and one of the guests, Nancy Dell'Olio (sp?), mentioned that she gets some special service, being taken from the aircraft direct to the terminal avoiding the queues (presumably with her own private immigration inspector). This service being run by B.A.

7th May 2012, 11:56
Whenever I come back to UK via Ferry or Tunnel, I get waived through

Three out of my last four trips via the tunnel there have been queues between 30 and 60 minutes affecting everybody. Missed the booked train twice, and each time we've had our breakfast coffee and croissant in Canterbury after travelling. They must be losing a fortune from all the travellers who don't have time to go into the terminal building any more.

7th May 2012, 16:20
May be something to do with this. Watching Have I got News For You last night the immigration queues were one subject and one of the guests, Nancy Dell'Olio (sp?), mentioned that she gets some special service, being taken from the aircraft direct to the terminal avoiding the queues (presumably with her own private immigration inspector). This service being run by B.A.

The Daily Wail, and I think others too, started howling about that last week, it's called the "VIP Suites" and they are nothing new since they have been around for a hell of a long time. But, hey, let's not let facts get in the way of some scheiss-stirring on a slow news day.

7th May 2012, 17:05
It's pity that they don't copy Nice airport. Load of people to get through, suddenly every desk is manned. Similar with the security there, too.

7th May 2012, 17:14
So, it's a nice airport?

8th May 2012, 11:59
Nancy Dell'Olio

VIP. Venal Ignorant Prosti . . . hang on, that's the door.

8th May 2012, 13:48

Even the security people at Nice are pleasant.

8th May 2012, 13:58
I got a quote from the Fastrack folks who handle the airports in China

For one entry in SHA for myself and the missus they quoted US $319

I guess that we'll be enjoying the longer queque

simon brown
8th May 2012, 14:08
"Given the delays processing passengers through passport control at some UK airports... Would you pay extra not to have to queue? "

I think the budget airlines have already tried that scam with speedy boarding ..what they dont say is that its the bloody bus you get on first!

So you pay to get through pisspot control early and then wait for your luggage ....

Makes me laugh the ever inventive ways of getting one to part with ones hard earned..:=

8th May 2012, 21:48
As TankerTrash gives his location as SW England I can only presume his recollections are of the Ferry or Tunnel in the South East - because on my return journeys into the UK via Poole or Plymouth, where (organised?) chaos reigns, it is certainly not a simple hold up of a UK passport, and barely slowing down, but quite a long queueing session to get through as queues merge in turn as they slowly wind their way towards the booths that are open.

It is bad enough that Brittany Ferries have a monopoly at Plymouth, so we pay rip-off prices, without the long queues that wind me up when I only have a 53 mile trip home across the Tamar once I escape!!


Gertrude the Wombat
8th May 2012, 22:40
UK airports, Stansted for one, can be a nightmare
Stansted went downhill with the new terminal.

My record is eight minutes from wheels touching tarmac to sitting in my car.

This included going to the loo because I thought I'd have a wait for my baggage. But when I came out of the loo my suitcase was waiting for me, and I was the only passenger left, and the staff locked up the building behind me.

And the parking only cost 20p, too. That's not 20p per day or per hour, that's 20p to park for as long as you liked. The rot started when they put the parking up to 60p and then built the new terminal.

Ancient Observer
14th May 2012, 13:16
Came in yesterday at about 10.00 through lhr T3. Not a queue in sight, and lots of both passport folk and customs folk spare.

Probably cos Sunday is double time overtime??

Even had a chat with, and smile from the passport lady. Who was also pretty. A first in my experience.

14th May 2012, 14:12
Flew from Seattle to Saigon vis Tokyo and HK last week.

Not sure I understand this. At Tokyo they ushered us off the plane, round the corner and then through a security search. Excuse me? Haven't we all been checked, twice, at Seattle? Then they checked most peoples bags again on the air bridge.

At HK they did the same thing even though we were getting back on the same plane in the same damned seat!

I'm sure there has to be a sensible reason for this, I just can't think of it.

14th May 2012, 14:27
Actually the USAf charged 2/0.

The delay in leaving your seat (artistic license) to being in your car, was the delay in the chute opening, and the P was on the way down too.

Seriously, before Stansted became the blue eyed boy, and had a NICE terminal, it was superb.

I will be arriving at LHR T4 tomorrow night at 22h00.
Last time on this flight, very few pax, and sufficient staff: and the lady....but not IRIS, I liked her...very polite too....