US Citizens Will Soon Be Able To Cut Lines At London Airport
By Sharelle Burt
For travelers that aren’t accustomed to going through customs (to quote Mr. Kanye West), the process may have just gotten a little easier for you.
As part of the annual budget, international travelers from five specific countries will officially be allowed to cut the lines at Heathrow Airport in London by using expedited security and immigration lines, a privilege previously reserved only for European Union travelers.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced the new details on Monday saying this new strategic move will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes for travelers from these countries to pass through airport lines. Right now, all non-EU citizens have to go through standard immigration and security lines, which can be quite hectic. New York art dealer, Michael Klein, who frequently travels to Europe, told BBC that he has waited in lines at Heathrow for more than two hours on three different trips recently, calling the experience “just horrendous.”
If you’re planning on visiting Europe starting next summer, you’re in luck. Passport holders from the five lucky nations, the United States and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, will most likely not be able to utilize the electronic passport gates before summer 2019.
This comes at the right time since Brexit negotiations have consumed European travel talk, a point that causing drama for commercial air travel. Meanwhile, eligible UK citizens have been applying for second passports from countries like Ireland, Germany, and other European countries to maintain some European Union benefits post-Brexit, a process that could be extremely difficult. In Ireland, the number of passport applications from British residents being denied soared from just one refusal in 2016 to at least 15,074 last year. If negotiations aren’t met and their passports expire during travel, British travelers could end up being considered “third-country nationals.”