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    Following a trip to Hong Kong and Kyoto, arrived back at Heathrow on Friday morning.
    Transferred smoothly from T3-T5 airside and then proceeded to wait 40 mins in the UK passport queue whilst non-UK passport holders walked virtually straight through. We were then held at the base of the escalators leading up to security for a further 15mins as it was too crowded in the scanning area. Once up there it took a further 15 mins to get through screening and into the terminal.
    Compare this to Hong Kong where it took a total of 35mins from exiting the aircraft, to walking into the airport express train station, this included immigration, baggage collection and customs. The same in Kyoto took 20 mins and that involved a customs baggage search.
    The management at T5 really need to get their act together my Wife and I spoke to 4 or 5 people around us in the security queue who were all about to miss their onward flights due to the debacle. It should come as no surprise to them that long haul aircraft arrive early in the morning bearing passengers who wish to transfer flight.
    I will be posting a report on the Cathay Pacific flights later.



    @ BRin1406 – 20/10/2014 10:06 GMT

    Erm, there is no “UK-passport holders” queue at T5 arrivals; there is a UK/EU+EEA+CH queue and then there is one for everyone else…

    Beyond that, you might have been out of the country when the following was announced and now implemented:


    The jury is out as to whether it will make any difference but it was predicted that this measure would have an impact upon arrivals at Heathow and elsewhere once implemented.



    If you want to be pedantic yes it was the EU queue but it had nothing to do with Ebola screening, more to do with not enough staff.
    I did forget to add that all passengers entering HK & Osaka were also screened for high temperature



    Not technically a UK passport queue, but if your arrive into T5 on an international flight and are transferring onto domestic, you go through a specific UK border passport screen which is usually hopelessly understaffed, where there is an “Express” lane that nobody understands or respects, and which only acts as a conditioner for the “Fast Track” (ha ha) which comes next.



    Hi esselle, As your quite rightly say, the Express lane & Fast Track were a joke.
    The really annoying thing was that there was a manager on his phone requesting more border staff almost as if it was a surprise that there were so many people wanting to transfer flights. Some basic forward planning is all it takes.



    as daft as it may sound, it could be quicker to exit T5 and then go upstairs to re-enter, rather than use the transfer system, which quite frankly is currently a disaster….

    There is only one part of T5 that has a dedicated FAST TRACK security (newly built).


    Tom Otley

    I flew into T5 from Hong Kong on Saturday morning.

    The flight was delayed, so we landed about 0530.

    We waited for some time for the transfer train back to the main terminal. It was very busy and passengers trying to board at Sat B were disappointed, since there was no room for them.

    We then shuffled up to the end of the platform and either took the escalators or the lifts to immigration.

    Once there, the queue for e-passports was long, so I made the mistake of just joining the queue for those with children or old passports not able to use the e-passport gates.

    15 minutes later, I was through.

    I was annoyed with myself for choosing the wrong queue, but actually, it made no difference, since the bags took so long to come to the carousel that they were only just arriving at 0620.

    So 50 minutes from landing to getting landside….

    Not great, especially if I compare it to Hong Kong, or even, dare I say it, Istanbul the previous weekend, but if I compare it to the last two trips to Washington DC….



    It is somewhat extraordinary that such a shambles should be allowed to exist; it is not as though it has only recently become problematic.

    If ever I come back in another life, I want to be the guy who invents those moveable ribbon barriers widely used to make you queue up nicely.



    Thank you Site Administrator..

    I have this joy next week but add on a connection to Amsterdam.

    I could take my bags through as hand luggage, but I I have been given some wine and whisky and would never get them through the Heathrow security.

    Interestingly in HKG, the transit security had no interest in the amount of liquids I was taking through….. (I was given some miniatures by the cabin crew + plus a few I had forgotten to drink)…. didn’t even have to pull the out of my hand baggage..



    esselle – you can usually remove them and quickly put them back so as not to get dizzy going round – so far no one watching on the security monitors seems to have noticed when I do that!




    I still have the scars from an arrival into CDG.

    No pax in front of me; about 50 yds through the barriers, or 10 yds if I ducked under them, which I started to do……..untill “le jobworth” started berating me at full pitch that I needed to “respecter le system monsieur”



    Having an EU passport does not mean you cannot use the non-EU lanes. I have often used the non-EU lanes at T5 when at certain times of day the queues have been short or non existant



    It’s pretty simple – just avoid using Thiefrow and Bloomin’ Arrogant. You can use KLM, AF, Luftie or even the very excellent Brussels for some destinations.

    I’ve just returned from a SA trip where, thanks to travelling out via Larnaca, I was forced to use BA for the first time in 22 years. Their business class “product” on Johannesburg-Heathrow T5 was no better than AF and I had to wait and fly home on Saturday because the Friday flight would have cost me £3000 extra!



    Saw a jobsworth at CDG send a small boy to the back of the line for ducking under the barriers to catch up with his friends.

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