Summary: Heathrow Airport is set to bring forward the recruitment of up to 70 new staff members as part of their Border Control. The addition of new staff should help to deal with the aftermath of the Olympic Games.
The 70 new posts were due to only start in 2014 for the opening of the new Terminal 2, but they have now been brought forward to the beginning of the new academic year in August, when thousands of students from outside of the UK will be arriving to start their studies.
During the Olympics the UK Border Force are expected to have an extra 480 guards on duty at UK entry posts, this number will be reduced however immediately once the games have closed.
Concerns have been raised with the UK government by airlines that queues are taking too long for passengers to get through, especially at Stansted and Heathrow. Reports of passengers taking up to 50 minutes to get through Fast-Track lanes.
Summary: A 24 hour strike at UK airports has been confirmed to begin today, 09 May 2012 with knock on effects from different shift times of staff, running into as late as Friday morning. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has confirmed the strike and thousands of airport staff, including immigration staff, will not turn up for work at the start of their shifts.
The 24 hour strike officially begins at midnight, however immigration staff whose shifts begin at 19h00 and other staff whose shift times overlap the strike period of 24 hours will begin strike action earlier and finish later.
It is expected that the UK Border Agency will bring in extra staff and volunteers to ensure smooth running at passport gates.
Passengers are encouraged to:
- Follow local news to hear if the strike is confirmed
- Contact your airline before travelling to the airport to check on the status of your flight
- Listen to announcements in the airports and follow any instructions issued by authorities
Information on how our customers may be affected can be found below.
Summary: The Immigration Services Union (ISU) has announced that they will be planning a day of industrial action next week to begin midnight 09 May 2012, which will see immigration services at Heathrow Airport affected.
Heathrow Airport is flying in extra staff from Manchester Airport in an emergency measure to try and ease the burden on the queue crisis the UK's premier hub is already experiencing.
How this affects our customers:
Travel Insurance - Provided your policy is purchased before the strike is confirmed, you will be covered by the full schedule of benefits for:
- Travel delay - you will be provided with up to £20 coverage for the first full 12 consecutive hour delay, followed by the subsequent amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits for each full 12 hours delay thereafter.
- Missed departure - you will be covered for reasonable additional accommodation and travel costs for reaching your destination if you miss the transportation you have booked due to strike action.
Airport Parking - Should you need to cancel your airport parking and did not purchase a cancellation waiver when making your booking, you will be charged a cancellation fee of £5. Please note: cancellations will only be refunded if made at least 24 hours before the expected time of arrival.
Airport Hotels - You can amend or cancel a booking up to 48 hours before arrival. Depending on which hotel you book the cancellation will either be free or a fee of £15 per room will be applicable. No refunds are available if you cancel within less than 48 hours notice.
Should you need assistance in cancelling your airport parking or hotel, please call customer services on 0845 803 5434 (lines are open Monday -Friday: 9am - 5.30pm).