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British Airways boss criticises 2-hour queues at Heathrow airport as 'border farce'

Staff Writer |
Passengers at Heathrow Airport are routinely facing two-hour queues at passport control in what the head of British Airways has called a "border farce".

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Chief executive Alex Cruz said Heathrow's queues were "significantly worse" than elsewhere in the continent.

He added tackling lengthy queues should be a priority for the government rather than a reported idea of designated lanes for UK passport holders post-Brexit.

Writing in the Times, Cruz said: "Two-hour queues are fast becoming the norm for those visiting from outside the European Economic Area, despite a target of no more than a 45-minute wait.

"Even EEA citizens wait almost an hour. This is unacceptable, yet Nick Jariwalla, the head of Border Force at Heathrow, said recently that things were unlikely to change and it was unreasonable for his team to be expected to meet their targets."

Cruz, who succeeded Keith Williams as CEO in April 2016, said the airport has missed its target for non-EEA arrivals more than 6,000 times this year.

He wrote: "Queues are significantly worse than at many other major world airports. What kind of message does this send, as we try to build links outside the EU?"

A number of arriving passengers at Terminal 4 were forced to wait three hours before being processed owing to "lack of staffing" during England's second-round game against Colombia on July 3.

British Airways is part of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, which also includes Aer Lingus and Iberia.

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