UK airlines critical of Border Force plans for paid “fast track” passport checks at airport immigration halls
September 13th, 2016
Responding to the news that Border Force is working on introducing a new Fast Track Passport Control service at immigration halls whereby passengers will be able to pay extra for “fast track” passport checks at airports, Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association (BATA), the trade body for UK airports, said:
“The Government and Border Force must ensure that this premium service does not become their overriding priority. Whilst at certain airports there may be some level of demand for this product at immigration halls, such an arrangement should not detract from the need for Border Force to provide the standard, required service which ensures that service levels and targets are met. This should not become the new ‘normal’ for passengers – and they should not have to pay extra to fund a service that they should expect to receive anyway.
“The proposed changes could have major implications for passengers – especially at smaller airports with constrained infrastructure and limited space to accommodate premium offerings. Moreover, Brexit means that future border and immigration arrangements are unclear and therefore substantial changes should be avoided until the full implications of the referendum result as they impact on border operations are better understood.”