In what it turning into a case of he said/she said, BAA has released its latest waiting times for immigration into the United Kingdom at London Heathrow.
- Most passengers from outside the EEA (European Economic Area) were NOT seen to within 45 minutes – over 95% of the time!
- The longest wait time was at T4 on 30th April for a grand total of 3 hours and 30 minutes for non EEA nationals
- EEA Arrivals were dealt with in 25 minutes for most of the time.
- Over April, T1 did best with 12/30 days, T3 and T4 scored 21/30 days and T5 drags itself in missing targets for 23/30 days
And frankly, it’s disgusting.
It seems there are different sampling methods where BAA samples queue lengths every 15 minutes to collate its figures. They are different from those collected by the UK Border Force, which checks the queues every hour – seemingly BAA’s seem more accurate.
The Rt Hon. Damian Green, Immigration Minister appeared on BBC news looking rather chastised and said that new shift patterns were due to commence in June, whilst promising spot teams to assist when times are busy. He also claimed that too many planes landed in a bunch so Immigration didn’t know what hit them
Iain Duncan Smith of the Conservative Party was rather defensive on the issue on BBC Question Time, comparing the wait time to times waiting for immigration at Washington-IAD. The minister also spun out the same line about lots of planes landing at once, and was countered when immigration knew how many people were due on the planes and that was a pile of rubbish.
Psst. Iain Duncan Smith – I’ve never had to wait 3 hours to be processed at Dulles. Nor have many people. Copying the USA in this respect is a VERY bad idea. Maybe you’d like to spend a day in the Houses of Parliament, starting say at 6am, finishing at Midnight, and then queue for 3 hours to leave the chambers to get a sensation of how it would feel?
Damian Green has also stated that the UK Border Force would ensure all immigration desks were fully staffed during summer peak times – Sadly, I’ll believe it when I see it with my own eyes.
Once again, the problem of lack of staff, and staff in the wrong place shows up. And as usual, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Whose you choose to believe… well – lets say I’m not 100% trusting of the Immigration service numbers in the least.
There are also murmerings of charging airlines more to process passengers – and we all know where that will lead – MORE CHARGES. This has not been confirmed, but is being talked about. And considering this government likes to drain your wallet, this could turn into a possibility.
So if you get delayed at London Heathrow and have to wait more than the stated 45 minutes, I’d strongly advise you write a letter on hotel headed notepaper stated you were delayed and when to the following:
The Rt Hon. Damian Green
The Home Office
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
You could also email your complaint to email@example.com or Telephone: 020 7035 4848 (09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday).
Because the only way things are going to change if you moan and moan constantly. And tell them that you’d happily take your trade away from the United Kingdom.