Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Craig Kreeger has joined the growing calls for the UK’s Border Force to address queues of up to two and half hours at immigration.
Following BA boss Alex Cruz’s letter to The Times last week, in which he urged the UK government to address the “border farce”, today it was the turn of Kreeger to call on Border Force to resolve “unacceptable queues”.
Virgin said that during July there was only one day where the UK Border Force met its Service Level Agreement to process at least 95 per cent of non-EAA passengers within 45 minutes.
The carrier added that on July 6 some visitors waited up to two hours 34 minutes in immigration queues.
Virgin said that it had launched a “greet and treat” service for customers, providing water and snacks for those waiting in queues.
“This summer significant queues at Border Control mean that thousands of visitors have faced two hour queues to get their passports checked, leaving them frustrated before they’ve even started their trip,” said Kreeger.
“At Virgin Atlantic we’re doing our bit to try and help our international customers –providing extra staff, as well as drinks and snacks for the queue – but only the Border Force can resolve these unacceptable queue times and they must take action.
“We all agree that security and safety at our airports is vital and remains our top priority, but other countries are managing their borders more effectively. At a time when the UK needs to show the world it is open for business, the Government and Border Force need to provide a great first impression, for every visitor, every time.”
Virgin highlighted queue times for popular tourist attractions including The London Eye (two and a half hours) and the Sistine Chapel (two hours) as comparision for the lengthly queues being experienced at Heathrow.