Heathrow isn’t heaven, but it’s not hell either
I flew into Heathrow recently with a certain amount of fear and trepidation having read all the horror stories about immigration control. Indeed the queues are said to be so bad that Joan Collins took to Twitter last week, to tell her 68,000 followers: “Arrived LHR after great trip on @British_Airways but 100s waiting at passport control – listen up Ms. May – need more officers!”
Little wonder then that I touched down fearing the worst but, much to my surprise sailed, through in about 10 minutes (and it would have been sooner if the kiosk that is supposed to be able to read passport chips had been open). Having texted the friend who was meeting me at the airport to advise her not to bother arriving on time as I was bound to be delayed, I found myself killing time at the T5 branch of Costa Coffee.
But while I had a favourable Heathrow experience, the same can’t be said of San Diego where last month, I easily spent two and a half hours stuck at passport control in a line that reminded me of queuing to get into a night club during my teens.
The truth of the matter is that the Heathrow delays, while frustrating, aren’t as bad as those in America or the Middle East – where I lived and work for close to three years. Put simply, post 9/11 extensive security checks have become part and parcel of modern day air travel around the world – not just in London.