Sunday, 20 September 2015
A triumph of disorganisation at Heathrow's Terminal 3. Arrived on Virgin flights 12 from Boston this morning at around 9.15. Picked up the second of two checked bags nearly 90 minutes later - at 10.42 am. A small but irritating delay getting the air bridge to the aircraft. Utter confusion reigned in the immigration hall. UK passport holders appeared to be queuing with non EU travellers. There was nobody on hand to sort out the mess. At least the electronic passport and facial recognition equipment was working efficiently. And there was no explanation why the luggage took so long to appear on the carousel. "Almost as long as the flight", mused one passenger. Bags went around with nobody to claim them. Nobody appeared to offer help. What a first impression we create. It was nothing short of a disgrace. Time was when we moaned about long delays negotiating US immigration. Compared with Heathrow's performance today, getting through formalities on arrival at Boston's Logan airport had been as greased lightning. ESTA holders were guided straight to passport readers which asked us all the usual immigration questions, which we answered via a touch screen. We were left slightly bemused as to why we still need to queue to be grilled verbally but the process was a massive improvement on the frustrations of past years. And the luggage appeared almost immediately we reached the carousel.