TRAVELLING through Heathrow Airport has been difficult for holidaymakers in recent weeks, with queues along as five hours at immigration.
There have been chaotic scenes at London Airport due to broken eGates and insufficient Border Force.
We’ve explained how to avoid the long airport queues when returning from holiday.
Thankfully, there are some ways to help you get through as quickly as possible if you face a long wait at the border.
Here are some of the top tips compiled by the Points Guy.
Choose flights outside of peak times.
Before booking a holiday, you should check the time your flight lands and choose an arrival time that isn’t at the peak time.
Expect long lines at London Heathrow for US flights that land between 6:30 is to 10 am.
Sunday evenings are the busiest because passengers will be returning to work on Monday.
If you can travel during the week or early morning or late afternoon, it is more likely that you will be able to speed through immigration.
Book seats at the front of the plane
If you want to avoid being stuck behind the whole plane trying to get their suitcases out from the overhead lockers, you are best to pay for a seat near the front.
You will most likely be able to depart the nearest departure point on most flights.
This is not just about booking first- or business-class seats. Try to get the front economy seats for quicker disembarking.
This will allow you to be in the front line for immigration.
One of the longest queues pre-immigration? The bathrooms.
Many passengers who need to use the bathroom when a plane is landing will head straight to the toilets, meaning you are likely to have to wait for ages before even getting to the border.
Have your documents ready
Many of the queues are longer due to the number of Covid checks they have to do.
Family members who don’t have everything they need to show the front line can lead to delays.
You can speed up this process by having all the information available on your phone and printing it.
You will need your Passenger Locator form, passport, and any proof of vaccinations or other tests.
Head straight to the eGates
The quickest queues at the eGates at London Heathrow, where passengers can scan their passport to get through, and you could get through in mere minutes.
Often much faster, staff may even open more gates if they see large crowds of passengers at arrival.
When using the gates, make sure to take off any hats or glasses, or the gates may send you to a separate line at immigration to get checked.
It would help if you did not travel with your family – children under 12 cannot use them. Instead, you must use the regular immigration lines.