Planning to travel to London in the near future? Or maybe you’ll just pass through Heathrow Airport on your way to another destination. If so, you may want to reschedule this trip.
Indeed, from mid-2019, American travelers will be able to avoid the immigration and passport lines at Heathrow.
A gift from Brexit
The reason for the big change? Kindness! We’re kidding, of course. It all comes down to money.
With Brexit on the way, the UK wants to attract more non-EU travelers – the line break privilege also applies to Australian, Japanese, New Zealand and Canadian citizens – and the expenses that go with it. One easy way to do this is to make UK travel more attractive.
Long waits, go
If you’ve ever traveled to London or had to loop through Heathrow, you know how horrible long lines can be. According to data obtained by British airline Virgin Atlantic, waits of two hours and more are quite common at the giant international airport. In fact, the report showed that on 30 of the 31 days in July, waits were 45 minutes or more for 95% of non-European travelers.
When you just want to get to where you’re going, it’s a long line.
Scan and go
Heathrow Airport has always had a rapid passport system, but previously it was only open to European citizens. Now, when you arrive at Heathrow, all you have to do is show your passport to an electronic scanner and then wait for your photo to be taken. Once the photo is referenced with your passport and the computer confirms a match, you’re on the right track.
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