Gatwick Does not Honour Priority Security Check and worse…Back to Forum
Tagged: BA FastTrack a joke
I had to fly to Malta on business last week, and because I wanted to get to Silver, I forked out over 1000 pounds for 2 Club Europe seats. And worse, I had to fly out of Gatwick because BA has only one flight a day and only out of LGW. I have done this before (7:45 am flight) but have to endure it because there is no alternative.
So, knowing how inferior LGW is compared to T5, my expectation was low. Spending the night before at the Gatwick Hilton was not fun, but at least I had a leisurely walk from the hotel to the departure hall at 6am.
And that is when the trouble started – there is a brand new and very welcoming section for Priority check in. So far so good.
But when you make your own way upstairs to security the FastTrack queue on the left somehow sits right next to the normal queue. Although there is a sign at the beginning of the line, there isn’t one at the point where you meet the security official. On 26th July morning when the priority queue was already quite long, suddenly an official opened the queue to our right, and allowed a stream of non-priority pax through to the line next to ours.
And horror horror, he allowed them priority over us!
No one said a word, so I walked back to the normal queue and observed that these pax were not late for their flights, nor were they disabled, or somehow had the necessity to jump the queue. There were more than 50 of them.
SO I asked the guard / security official why he did that, he said there was too much pressure on the normal queues! So I told him we are priority pax but he shrugged his shoulders and continued letting people through.
This cost us more than 20 Minutes extra waiting time! It seems that the priority queue is not manned by any BA staff at all. And the security officials don’t seem to care a hoot about our ‘privilege’.
BA certainly does not care.
Same happened at the Malta Priority check in, but that is another story.4 Aug 2017
SangFang, sounds as if that was a long 20 minutes wasted from your life!! I use Gatwick South quite frequently and have seen this happen on occasions but it has not really been a problem.
As the Priority route is not exclusively for BA passengers, I am not sure why BA staff should be on duty there…..
Personally, I think that BA’s facilities at Gatwick South are pleasant and the First Lounge is very well suited to the type of market BA cater for at that airport.4 Aug 2017
@SangFung Although priority passengers at LGW are fooled into thinking that Priority security means just that, there is not actually any filtering, so the Priority gate can be used by any passenger. So those economy pax with no status “in the know” just go through Priority. That is why the normal gates are frequently opened into priority to relieve the load. Many airports have no filtering except LHR. At many airports Fastrack….isn’t!4 Aug 2017
I have used BA three times out of LGW South and on each occasion used the Priority Channel without a problem when the normal channel was busy. On one occasional two non-priority passengers were ushered back to the normal channel so maybe I was lucky4 Aug 2017
I can’t speak for LGW S but I use LGW N often and I know that the boarding pass scanners on Premium (Priority) security won’t open the gates unless your boarding pass shows your entitlement, as I tried going through once with my son, who didn’t have Premium access.
I am not sure how it works if you pay the one-off £5 fee for Premium but I assume you have a receipt and the operator lets you through.4 Aug 2017
Thanks for your replies. At LGW South there was no scanner and a glass door to determine whether one has priority or not.
Normally I don’t complain about these privileges if the security check queues are not excessively busy, but this morning it was. I suppose it was the beginning of the season! Still, the personnel manning the priority section should have been there to monitor the flow of pax. I wouldn’t object to normal pax joining our queue if only we would still have priority. On this occasion the official simply let these pax through ahead of about 30 of us waiting in Priority.
TominScotland, I sense a hint of sarcasm in your comment. Yes it was 20 minutes of MY life. Wasted? No. Experience? Yes. My observation is that BA does not deploy any staff anywhere other than the check in area.
I fly CX a lot and they have staff at every queue and every counter to make sure those who are entitled to their privileges are served accordingly. Perhaps this culture/practice is lacking in Europe in general and we should just accept it?4 Aug 2017
Gatwick appear different from Frankfurt T2,where the airport employees openly advise the fast track lanes are for all passengers.
It’s a sad fact that very few airport channels are bothered to respect any passengers (economy or business). Heathrow T5 fast track often reduces the strains by switching economy and business passenger flows into each others lines.
The only passengers who receive a resemblance of a respectful service are those privalidged to access First Class areas, such as the BA wing or the LH/LX First Class areas and terminals.
The problem with the Gatwick fast track or premier lane is it’s not owned by the airlines. So Gatwick authorities Can do as they wish. You woukd think BA woukd want their premieres to be treated better…but sadly they will say this problem is not their doing….4 Aug 2017