Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Heathrow hell: airport apologizes for ‘queues’ at passport control and ‘waits’ to collect luggage

Angry passengers have criticized Heathrow for huge lines and delayed baggage claim as chaos returns to Britain’s busiest airport.

Livid travelers unburdened themselves to the ‘disaster’ caused by team lines and supposedly a lack of workers this morning as they tried to get to their flights.

Some said people were lining up so hot for hours that they had removed their masks and risked spraying Covid on other customers.

Heathrow admitted to having “longer” immigration queues, but added that staff were “working hard to process passengers.”

It comes just a few weeks after faulty electronic gates led to a terrible delay at the airport that saw hundreds of people waiting up to four hours.

Angry travelers took it out on the lines of equipment and a lack of workers this morning as they tried to get to their flights.

Angry travelers took it out on the lines of equipment and a lack of workers this morning as they tried to get to their flights.

Some said people were queuing so hot for hours that they had removed their masks and risked spraying Covid on other customers.

Some said people were queuing so hot for hours that they had removed their masks and risked spraying Covid on other customers.

Some said people were lining up so hot for hours that they had removed their masks and risked spraying Covid on other customers.

Stuck in long lines at Heathrow?

Email james.gant@mailonline.co.uk

One man commented online: ‘@HeathrowAirport, send more officers to immigration counters here.’

Heathrow responded: ‘We are aware of the longer immigration queues at this time, the Border Force is working hard to process passengers. Thank you for your patience.’

Another posted: ‘Hi @HeathrowAirport @British_Airways, when will you deliver BA172’s luggage from JFK? The flight landed at 08:36 and arrived at 08:46.

The airport responded: ‘We are sorry to hear the long wait. Baggage handlers are working hard to process passenger bags. ‘

Valentina Peña said: ‘@HeathrowAirport, what happened to the improved staffing of border agents after the September debacle?

“ I have been queuing for over an hour, with several passengers beginning to remove their masks around me. Their understaffing is causing a serious Covid risk at T5. ‘

Heathrow commented: ‘We are aware of the longer immigration queues at this time, the Border Force is working hard to process passengers.

‘We are sorry to hear that the passengers are removing their masks. While we appreciate that some passengers and colleagues cannot use face covers, we hope that everyone will use them whenever possible. ”

But she replied: ‘Unfortunately, it seems like people are taking off their face covers out of boredom / frustration from queuing for almost 2 hours with little progress. If wait times can’t be improved, could there at least be a way to enforce your own policies?

The airport said: “Heathrow staff will enforce current rules that include the use of face masks whenever possible.”

Paul Johnson said: ‘The @HeathrowAirport bags have been delivered like the state for 15 minutes now and there is no sign of them. Is this chaos normal?

The company responded: ‘We are sorry to hear that the wait times for your bags are longer. If you are concerned about the condition of your luggage, speak with your airline.

Peter Martin said: ‘@HeathrowAirport what’s happening in the parking lot, trying to get out, on level 3 and they haven’t moved for 30 minutes !!!!!!’

Another wrote: ‘Why can’t we get out of the T3 short stay car park? Haven’t we moved in in 15 minutes? And one more added: ‘I rocked up to T3 Short Stay for a PCR test so I could travel … I sat in a queue to find a place to park for almost an hour … what’s going on ?!’

Heathrow said: ‘We are sorry to hear the delay. Please speak to the traffic chiefs who will be stationed in the parking lot if you have any concerns about the current situation. ‘

He added: ‘We are currently experiencing delays in our car parks. Our teams are working hard to get passengers through the barriers, we apologize for any inconvenience caused. ‘

Ramya Mure added: ‘I had the worst experience at @HeathrowAirport today with TSA. They were rude and wouldn’t let me carry most of my toiletries even though they were less than 100ml because they wouldn’t fit in a small bag. Most of the other airports don’t seem to care and the staff are courteous. Very disappointed.’

The images showed large crowds huddled in narrow corridors as they waited to be processed at the airport this morning.

Others showed a stream of passengers, mostly wearing face covers, passing through the flight gates as they tried to get to their planes.

Today’s chaos was reportedly caused by “logistical problems” that led to waits of up to an hour to collect luggage.

A Heathrow spokesman said it was not an “infrastructure problem on our side” and pointed to airline operators. British Airways has been contacted for comment.

Last month, Heathrow was in the grip of border chaos when hundreds of enraged travelers were forced to wait up to four hours at arrivals at terminals 3 and 5.

The huge lines were caused by an e-gates accident, which was the second time in two weeks. Passengers estimated that there were more than 1,000 people waiting at the immigration center.

Heathrow said at the time that the electronic gates failed due to a “nationwide system problem.” The airport even appeared to blame the Border Force, saying its staff manned electronic gates at ports across the country.

Earlier this week, the British Airways owner threatened to pull out of Heathrow over the airport’s plans to raise fares and drive up the cost of family vacations.

The warning shot was fired by Luis Gallego, CEO of BA owner IAG, on Heathrow’s plans to increase passenger fares by as much as 76 percent.

You would see them rise from the current £ 19.60 to as much as £ 34.40, which could add £ 75 to the cost of a holiday abroad for a family of five. The costs are charged to the airlines, but are generally passed on to the passengers.

Gallego said fares charged by the UK’s largest airport were already among the highest in the world and that IAG would “reconsider” using Heathrow if its planned hike goes ahead.

He predicted that other airlines could also cut services to and from the UK’s largest airport.

He said: ‘Heathrow is becoming increasingly expensive for airline operators. It is already 44 percent more expensive than its European competitors.

“It has some of the highest landing fees of any airport in the world. And now, operators could face a [more than] 50 per cent increase in tariffs … A decision that would make the UK not more competitive, but less ”.

Earlier this week, the British Airways owner threatened to pull out of Heathrow over the airport's plans to raise fares and increase the cost of family vacations (file photo)

Earlier this week, the British Airways owner threatened to pull out of Heathrow over the airport's plans to raise fares and increase the cost of family vacations (file photo)

Earlier this week, the British Airways owner threatened to pull out of Heathrow over the airport’s plans to raise fares and increase the cost of family vacations (file photo)

He added: ‘Heathrow’s leadership position is not inevitable. The reality is that more than 40 percent of the people who use Heathrow are connecting passengers.

“They are just passing through, on their way to other destinations, and could easily pass through other more competitive hubs.

Hiking expenses won’t help. It will not attract demand. It will have the opposite effect.

“And if the increase in landing fees continues, I know IAG would not be the only one to reconsider the use of Heathrow as a port by our airlines.”

BA is one of the few airlines that exclusively uses Heathrow Terminal 5.

But it is scheduled to start a new unit that will offer European flights from London Gatwick in March next year.

Gallego spoke at an industry summit hosted by Airlines UK, which represents the UK’s leading airlines.

Former BA chief Willie Walsh, who heads the trade body of the International Air Transport Association, said Heathrow would “ shoot itself in the foot ” if passenger fares increase.

“Raising charges to such a high level will just drive people away from Heathrow,” he added.

Heathrow’s seven billionaire owners include the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, Singapore and China.

It has paid around £ 4bn in dividends since 2012 and has said it could restart payments next year, after being halted by the pandemic, if its debts are under control. Heathrow bases its rates on the numbers that the airport uses.

He expects around 40 million passengers next year, compared to 80 million before the pandemic, and said this means that each passenger must pay more to cover the deficit.

The airport’s desire to increase fares is subject to a review by the Civil Aviation Authority which will make a decision on whether the increase can continue next year.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said Heathrow’s proposed fare increase would threaten the viability of its expansion project.

But Heathrow responded last night, accusing airlines of raising airline fares for Christmas, with 2021 bookings approaching pre-pandemic levels, now most overseas travel restrictions have been removed.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: ‘A £ 10 to £ 15 increase in airport fees is not comparable to increasing economy class tickets to the US to more than £ 2,000 this Christmas, which is what some are doing. airlines.

“It is true that Heathrow is proposing a higher pandemic price increase than continental airports, but we are not state-owned nor have we received billions in state aid during the crisis; we are completely dependent on private investment.

“Heathrow passengers want a quality and reliable experience. The highest charge will allow us to make key investments over the next five years to protect passenger service. ‘

  • Stuck in long lines at Heathrow? Email james.gant@mailonline.co.uk

.