HomeTravelHow to get 'fast-tracked' as major strike means 'longer queues and delays'

How to get ‘fast-tracked’ as major strike means ‘longer queues and delays’


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Hundreds of Border Force officers at have kicked off a four-day strike meaning disruption is likely for passengers departing from and arriving into the UK’s busiest hub. However, if you do find yourself caught up in queues with an imminent departure time, experts say there are ways you may be able to catch your flight in time.

“Travellers will understandably be concerned about upcoming strikes and what this could mean for them.

“If you are travelling in or out of Heathrow on these days, be prepared for longer queues and delays,” warned Lisa Webb, Which? Consumer Law Expert.

“If you are in a security queue and your flight departs soon, make a fuss and let staff know the urgency. Security staff may fast-track you.”

This isn’t a failsafe method and will largely be up to the staff as to whether they allow you through or not.

“Alternatively, contact your airline before the flight departs to tell them you won’t get through security in time – some, like British Airways, offer free rebooking,” said Lisa.

“Travellers should also ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance from the date they book their trip and check the policy carefully: not all will cover them in the event of strikes by airline or airport staff, for example.”

The strike action has come amid a dispute over working conditions. More than 300 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) are set to walk out from 5am on Monday until 7am on Friday.

The strike will impact workers at terminals two, three, four and five. The protest is against plans to introduce new rosters which workers say would mean 250 of them could be out of work at passport control.

The union’s general secretary, Fran Heathcote, commented: “It’s disappointing that despite talks last week, the Home Office is not prepared to grant any flexibility to their new roster.

“None of our dedicated and highly experienced members in the Border Force want to take strike action but the way they’ve been treated by their employer leaves them with no option.

“The Home Office still have time to prevent tomorrow’s strike if they agree to abandon this unworkable new system.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “We are disappointed with the union’s decision to strike but remain open to discussing a resolution with the PCS.

“The changes we are implementing will bring the working arrangements for Border Force Heathrow staff in line with the way staff work at all other major ports, provide them with more certainty on working patterns and improve the service to the travelling public.

“We have robust plans in place to minimise disruption where possible, but we urge passengers to check the latest advice from operators before they travel.”

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