Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Terminal 5. Border Agency Control. Can I ask you a simple question?


Arriving back at Terminal 5 Heathrow on a tuesday afternoon at around 4.30pm  it took around an hour to get through border control. There are many genuine reasons as to why that might be the case. A sudden flux of planes all arriving unexpectedly, complex cases to evaluate. I have some sympathy. But on this occasion I had none. The delay was caused by incompetence, stupidity and in all possibility deliberately wanting passengers to queue. 

The queue to go through the EU passport section was longer than the other sections and even the Iris recognition queue extended back to the back of the room. 

So having queued I arrived towards the front desks and what did I observe. Firstly, there were 3 desks, all manned for the purpose of dealing with those folks who get rejected by the Iris recognition scheme. This does happen. However I would estimate that the three border control officers saw maybe between them 10 passengers in this hour. They made no effort to call over the people waiting in the queue. 

At the front of the queue there were 2 border control officers dealing with the whole queue, together with a trainee just looking on……..There were at least 5 empty stations. So in total they could have had 10 officers dealing with the queue but decided to have 2. Why? Who plans these debacles? Why can they not change things when they see a huge queue? Simple question but can I have an answer please? Terminal 5 Border control is a poorly run organisation and on tuesday this week had zero regard for passengers and zero leadership amongst its staff to put things right.

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