Brits Vote to Bypass Passport Control Queues

June 2016

UK poll respondents in favour of payable fast-track ticket at passport control

Queue delays the most frustrating element of airport experience

Reports that the Home Office is considering introducing a payable fast-track service at passport control points across UK airports has been met with controversy. Yet the research released today by HolidayExtras.com reveals British passengers are actually in favour of the proposed charges.

More than half (52 per cent) of Brits voted in favour of the initiative that would allow travellers to purchase a pass to avoid lengthy queues at airport borders.

The cost of the passes is expected to range from £5 – £17.50 per person and has received widespread criticism. However, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of the 4,000 UK holidaymakers taking part in the poll confirmed that they plan to use the service if it goes ahead to save valuable time. Others stated they agree with the proposed charges simply because they dislike queuing or that they consider the cost to be acceptable for a travel upgrade.

Objections in the poll included concerns that the suggested service would not provide a feasible solution to queuing problems, as highlighted by nearly one in six (15 per cent).

Delays within the airport are a frequent pressure point for many travellers and some upgrade services already exist to facilitate easier passage through many of the bottlenecks. Passport control delays were found to be the most frustrating airport experience in the poll, second only to security, for which a Fast-Track pass is already available to purchase. Likewise, Meet and Greet parking services are provided at most UK airports to help speed up the parking process for the seven per cent of people who would prefer a quicker and more convenient parking experience.

Communications Director at Holiday Extras, Ant Clarke-Cowell explains: “Our capacity to politely form a queue is a part of the British psyche, but excessive delays can cause real concern and stress for passengers. It’s interesting to see so many respondents vote in favour of the option to avoid passport control delays for a small charge.  

“Holiday Extras believe in making travel better for all and we support any scheme that would improve passenger experience. Security Fast-Track passes and airport approved Meet and Greet parking are already incredibly popular services, helping millions of our customers start their trip smoothly every year. We look forward to hearing more about the newly proposed passport control service under discussion.”

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*Holiday Extras polled over 4,151 holidaymakers from across the UK in September 2016.