The chief executive in charge of Heathrow airport believes passengers from countries outside of Europe should be allowed to use the e-gates.
Passing through an airport, whether you're coming back from somewhere or on your way, can be one of the most stressful experiences we have to endure. Arriving hours in advance in case we get caught up in security queues and let's be honest, that's normally the case. Feeling nervous when we pass through security even though we don't have anything to worry about. It's not exactly the best way to start and end a holiday.
If you're one of the lucky people from the EU reading this then you know that when traveling in Europe, a little of that stress is taken from you. That's because European citizens have their very own queue and if they have a biometric passport they can even use the e-gates, hence EU-only queues moving much faster.
At Heathrow there are 60 e-gates available to EU passengers and the airports chief executive, John Holland-Kaye has labeled it ridiculous that those from certain other countries can't use them. "There’s no reason we should treat a passenger from the US any differently from one from Lithuania. We have 60 e-gates at Heathrow and you’ll never see them all in use," Holland-Kaye told The Guardian.
The chief executive believes with the advent of Brexit, Heathrow and the UK has a chance to send a positive message to the rest of the world. "What better way on 30 March to show the world has changed than have Americans, Canadians and Australians use the e-gates?" he questioned. The Heathrow boss claims that he has witnessed non-EU passengers having to queue for almost three hours at the airport's terminal four.
The Home Office in the UK has cited very different numbers though. According to them, of the 40 million arrivals that come through Heathrow each year 95% of them pass through immigration in 25 minutes or less with others taking 45 minutes. When it comes to the changes Holland-Kaye wants to see it will ultimately be down to the Home Office, so if it doesn't see an issue then it's unlikely that there will be any changes to the current system.