Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
TM

Heathrow Customs Clearance

Recommended Posts

18 hours ago, newport dave said:

There are monitors after immigration telling you which flight is on which carousel. 

We were so long in the line that they were no longer current.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/21/2019 at 3:58 PM, Globaliser said:

We breezed through luckily when arriving at T2 from Vancouver in late July and wait was no more than 5 minutes.

 

 

The expansion of e-gates eligibility to those seven additional nationalities came into effect yesterday, Monday 20 May 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-expands-use-of-epassport-gates-to-7-more-countries

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 10:18 AM, Diver2014 said:

Every time I have flown into Heathrow from the USA, arriving early morning, it has taken at least an hour from the time I got off the plane to walking out into the main part of terminal 3.  


It's never taken me longer than 20 minutes to be through immigration and outside the sterile concourse.

Edited by ducklite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ducklite said:


It's never taken me longer than 20 minutes to be through immigration and outside the sterile concourse.

 

What terminal? It's taken me 20 minutes just to get from the gate TO immigration!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, markeb said:

 

What terminal? It's taken me 20 minutes just to get from the gate TO immigration!


Terminal 3.  

Terminal 5 does take 5-10 minutes longer.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ducklite said:


Terminal 3.  

Terminal 5 does take 5-10 minutes longer.  

 

I’m either disembarking Economy Plus or Business and I’ve NEVER made it out of Terminal 3 in 20 minutes. That is totally unreasonable for the average traveler. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

I’m either disembarking Economy Plus or Business and I’ve NEVER made it out of Terminal 3 in 20 minutes. That is totally unreasonable for the average traveler. 


I didn't say I made it out of the terminal, I said I made it through Immigration and into the no-sterile concourse.  Perhaps I've been lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is new -

 

Are there signs to show you where to go for the E passports gates?

 

Are the different countries listed on a sign to show who is legible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gates are pretty obvious in Terminal 3 (United/Air Canada/Star Alliance) and always have been. Unless they've been relocated, they're to the right of the arrivals hall.

 

It'll be December before I can answer the signage question. Kind of curious about that as well. There's a pretty informative video on youtube, which I've always had bad luck trying to embed here!

 

http://<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9TG31dOttMM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, phabric said:

Since this is new -

 

Are there signs to show you where to go for the E passports gates?

 

Are the different countries listed on a sign to show who is legible?

I didn’t do it at Heathrow, rather at Edinburgh. There were signs listing the counties allowed to use the gates, and the whole process was simple and fast. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, phabric said:

Since this is new -

 

Are there signs to show you where to go for the E passports gates?

 

Are the different countries listed on a sign to show who is legible?

 

Yes, plenty of signs and also airport staff to direct folk. The e-passport gates used to be kind of a subset of the UK/EU queue, but now have their own burgundy e-chip symbol. As you enter the immigration halls there are signs listing the eligible countries by name and  national flag. 

 

One point to note is they are for 12 years and above only, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Heathrow staff are pretty good at intercepting families with young children 🙂

Edited by Cotswold Eagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ducklite said:


I didn't say I made it out of the terminal, I said I made it through Immigration and into the no-sterile concourse.  Perhaps I've been lucky.

 

But once you are landside, it’s a matter of a few steps to leave the terminal. It’s not clear from where you are measuring and if you mean using the e-passport gates

10 hours ago, ducklite said:


Terminal 3.  

Terminal 5 does take 5-10 minutes longer.  

 

These data seem contrary to my experience and the sense I get from other frequent flyer forums. I literally cannot remember queuing at the border at T5 this year, both before and after the gates were made available to the extended list. The T3 gates are slightly more awkward, if I remember correctly, although a sense of delay may come from the layout rather than being actual 🙂 Of course, glitches or delays can hit any terminal at any time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For our American friends,  I have to say that Heathrow,  despite its reputation,  is far more used to dealing with foreign travellers than most US airports.  No, it is not perfect,  but it understands and tries to simplify the processing of transit passengers much more than any American airport  that I have ever used. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/16/2019 at 9:43 AM, Turtles06 said:

 

I don’t think they really are concerned about customs. I think many folks posing these questions have confused customs and immigration. 

 

Some countries have either combined the functions or made the process so seamless that it appears to be one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

These data seem contrary to my experience and the sense I get from other frequent flyer forums. I literally cannot remember queuing at the border at T5 this year, both before and after the gates were made available to the extended list. The T3 gates are slightly more awkward, if I remember correctly, although a sense of delay may come from the layout rather than being actual 🙂 Of course, glitches or delays can hit any terminal at any time. 

 

T3 has the very long walk and the huge escalator on your way to immigration. I've slowed down a bit, but that has always taken time just to get to immigration. I think they've redone the terminals since I last flew BA, but that seemed somewhat faster, initially, because of the tram.

 

I'm very curious to see how the E-passport gates change things. We're next in LHR in December.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Came thru LHR on BA last week from Denver. Used the e-passport. Piece of cake. Actually my partner was confused on which way to put his passport in and after a couple tries we were immediately sent to a person who checkedand we got right thru. No more stamps on the passport tho 🙁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/19/2019 at 9:07 AM, wowzz said:

For our American friends,  I have to say that Heathrow,  despite its reputation,  is far more used to dealing with foreign travellers than most US airports.  No, it is not perfect,  but it understands and tries to simplify the processing of transit passengers much more than any American airport  that I have ever used. 

amen to that!

14 times to the States for us from Oz

and no way we want to go back!

in April it took us 3 hrs to get from the plane to having our passports stamped..

this was in San Fran.coming from Australia  and then again in JFK coming from Amsterdam

and the time included the machine that scans your passport

but why bother using that machine ?? it doesnt speed up any of the process....

if you still have to “ see the guy behind the glass “ at the end of the snake queue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2019 at 10:04 PM, ducklite said:


It's never taken me longer than 20 minutes to be through immigration and outside the sterile concourse.

 

I think you’ve been incredibly lucky.  I am a British resident, with a British passport and use the e-gates, and on some occasions it’s taken more than an hour.  Every once in a while it’s 10-20 minutes, but that’s been rare for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This past June instead of taking the dinner time flight from the East Coast that arrives at Heathrow around 6:30 am we took a flight that departed at 10:30 pm and arrived at 10:30 am that worked out perfectly.  Compared with the early morning rush there were relatively few plane loads of passengers being processed by immigration and the e-passport gates were incredibly quick (quicker than Global Entry in the US since there aren't a handful of questions to answer).  It was a welcomed surprise.  We did have to wait for our driver for about 10 minutes because he got stuck in traffic dropping off disembarking cruise passengers in the city and because we were processed so quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I timed my entry through T5 this morning to add some data. I was off the BA12 from Singapore, which is one of the first flights into T5 - probably one of the first five or six this morning. 

 

0535 - on stand at the T5 C gates satellite terminal

0550 -  I was off the plane (there was a slight delay in ground staff arriving to hook up the jetty, and I was in the back of the A380 plane upstairs, hence the 15 minutes delay here)

0603 - arrived in the immigration hall, after using the transit from C gates

0604 - through immigration via an eGate - about 2/3 of the gates were open and no more than two or three people queuing at each one

0620 - bags began to arrive 

0633 - landside after collected bag and through customs (as usual, no visible staff in the Green channel, so straight through)

0640 - HEX departure for Paddington. 

 

So, just under the hour from time on stand to landside. The main constraints were delay at the stand, transit to the main terminal and waiting for baggage. Immigration and customs amounted to two minutes, and even if immigration had taken another 15 minutes, my time landside would have been the same, because my bag would not have arrived 🙂 

Edited by Cotswold Eagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2019 at 4:33 AM, Cotswold Eagle said:

I timed my entry through T5 this morning to add some data. I was off the BA12 from Singapore, which is one of the first flights into T5 - probably one of the first five or six this morning. 

 

0535 - on stand at the T5 C gates satellite terminal

0550 -  I was off the plane (there was a slight delay in ground staff arriving to hook up the jetty, and I was in the back of the A380 plane upstairs, hence the 15 minutes delay here)

0603 - arrived in the immigration hall, after using the transit from C gates

0604 - through immigration via an eGate - about 2/3 of the gates were open and no more than two or three people queuing at each one

0620 - bags began to arrive 

0633 - landside after collected bag and through customs (as usual, no visible staff in the Green channel, so straight through)

0640 - HEX departure for Paddington. 

 

So, just under the hour from time on stand to landside. The main constraints were delay at the stand, transit to the main terminal and waiting for baggage. Immigration and customs amounted to two minutes, and even if immigration had taken another 15 minutes, my time landside would have been the same, because my bag would not have arrived 🙂 

 

That could be the difference.  I typically have no hold luggage and am in the pointy end of the plane, so off within a minute or two and no wait for luggage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...