United Kingdom, 7th May: Do you want to escape long and tiring immigration queues at Heathrow Airport? Be ready to shell out £1,800.
Sounds amazing! But, it is quite true. For wealthy foreigners who cannot wait at Heathrow Airport while their passports are being checked by the immigration officials, this is simply irresistible.
Heathrow’s secret service at £1,800—Money makes the mare go, says a famous proverb. The same holds true even for UK immigration officials. Known as the best kept secret of Heathrow airport, this special service allows wealthy travelers to get a VIP treatment.
So, while wealthy travelers can afford to sip champagne as the UK immigration officials conduct their passport checks, others are compelled to keep waiting for as much as three long-hours to get an entry into the UK.
Rich passengers are offered a limousine to help them reach a VIP suite for having champagne. The fee of £1,800 is valid for a maximum of six travelers for getting VIP treatment during immigration checks at Heathrow.
Who is to be blamed—Long immigration queues and chaotic scenes at several UK airports are a cause of serious concern calling for immediate action from the UK government. Passengers are baffled and so are immigration officials.
So, it drives us to know what actually led to such long immigration queues?
Well, it is being claimed that it’s the recent cutbacks announced by the UK government that led to a crunch of requisite staff to handle the immigration checks at British airports.
And the result is before us—confusion and uncontrolled scenario at the UK airports. On many occasions, intervention by police officials becomes compulsory to take hold of the situation from turning ugly.
It is being alleged that custom officers have been directed to skip screening tests of travelers for drugs and arms due to long immigration queues complicated by staff shortages.
UK’s special service- a contempt for public--Critics are urging Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, to take control of the situation at the earliest. UK immigration minister Damian Green is under pressure about the reasons for such nasty developments at UK airports.
Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, feels UK’s reputation for passengers will be jeopardized if it does not stop giving special service to rich travelers willing to pay £1,000.
It is nothing but contempt for people wanting to gain entry into the UK, admits chairman of the Commons transport select committee, Louise Ellman.