U.K. airports to charge fee to jump long lineups

U.K. airports to charge fee to jump long lineups

TORONTO — It may seem that travellers are charged a fee for everything nowadays, from extra legroom and onboard snacks to luggage and now…jumping the line?

According to The Guardian, travellers will be charged as much as £ 17.50 to get through passport checks more quickly at British airports, the Home Office has confirmed. Officials said they were working with some airport operators to introduce the new fee, but denied previous reports that it will be implemented in every U.K. airport with a charge of at least £ 5 per person.

At Gatwick airport, passengers face having to pay £ 17.50 on top of the price of their airline ticket to use a fast lane through passport control. It was reported last month that Edinburgh airport was implementing the system, and Gatwick’s service was advertised last year.

The Home Office said its Border Force was “working closely with several airport operators to introduce a fast track passport control service, which will provide passengers with another choice of a secure and convenient route through the U.K. border.”

Many critics have slammed the move, calling it “ridiculous” and warning of even longer lineups for those who don’t fork out the £ 5 as staff are diverted to the new section, reports The Sunday People.

“This is a ridiculous idea the exposes just how understaffed our borders are,” said a Public and Commercial Services union spokesman. “What happens if everyone opts to pay £ 5? We’re back to square one.”

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