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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Airports cash in on terror checks

• This is Money
Airports are cashing in on the queues at their security gates by charging passengers to use fast-track priority lanes.
At least eight have introduced the system and are charging travellers up to £5 to beat the queues.

A whistleblower security guard at Luton Airport, which adopted the system last year, claimed there is a deliberate policy to let the queues grow to encourage people to pay for the express lane.

The claim was made as travellers were warned to expect more stringent checks in the wake of the cargo plane terror plot emanating from Yemen.

With the checks involving the removal of shoes and belts, body scans and patdown searches, the process is so time-consuming that passengers are arriving at airports up to three hours before departure to make sure they catch their flights.

Luton introduced a fee of £3 in March last year, allowing travellers to skip the queue by using a 'priority lane' to reach the security checkpoint.

Bristol and Aberdeen have £5 charges. Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Liverpool John Lennon and Newcastle have £3 charges. Manchester has a fast-track security lane for travellers who book expensive VIP Valet parking. The Luton security guard told the Daily Mail: 'Before the priority lane was introduced we had to keep queues down.

'Now the lane is there staff are told to create queues, which forces passengers to pay for the priority lane.'

The claim was denied by Luton Airport. The Air Transport Users Council, the official consumer body for passengers, described the claims as 'worrying'.

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1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

British Airport staff are alleged creating queues to force passengers to pay extra money to use the priority boarding lane. If this is extortion, it appears profitable. Perhaps the Brits could also force Citizens to stand hours before making the train, that could bring in a bundle. The Nazis  targeted and repeatedly delayed train passengers they deemed politically or morally incorrect on their way to work, so they would lose their jobs. The Nazi's never considered charging passengers money "for right of passage."

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