2012 London Olympics: Long immigration queues at Heathrow raising concerns

Written on:July 2, 2023
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Chaos ahead of Games at Heathrow

BAA, the airport operator, has questioned the recent immigration queues at Heathrow Airport, which have been too long, with some passengers standing far outside the immigration hall, only to encounter empty passport control desks and uninterested staff.

On Friday passengers at Terminal 4 were stuck in half-mile queues, starting long before they even got to the immigration hall. They said that once they got there, two out of three desks were not manned and immigration officers “talked among themselves” while ignoring passenger demands to know what was causing the delays.

Officials were also seen trying to prevent passengers taking photographs of the chaos as an estimated 4,000 people waited in line. Iris, the eye recognition technology, was not available to many passengers, and some could not use the E-passport queues.

BAA, which runs Heathrow, admitted that target times for passengers passing through immigration were missed. The company disclosed that over a two-hour period on Friday morning queue times were on average one and a half hour. There were similar problems later that day and also during busier periods on Saturday.

The criticism of the immigration controls comes just ahead of Games. An extra 650,000 passengers are expected to pass though the airport during the Games. BAA said visitor numbers were starting to increase in line with the holiday season, and Olympic athletes and delegations were also arriving. However, the UK Border Force said it was “fully prepared for the busy Olympic period”, with extra staff due on July 15.

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One Comment add one

  1. Humphurg says:

    if this continue we will face lots of embarrassing situations during games..mend it soon

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