Ongoing fears about huge delays in the immigration hall seem now to have been resolved – if our experience is anything to go by.
We flew into Terminal 5 from Greece aboard a British Airways A320 late afternoon and immediately joined hordes of other arriving passengers including those from an apparently-full jet from Dubai and made our way to the immigration area.
Staff told us to “hurry along” – something I’ve never experienced before – and we joined the short queues for the E-gates. They all seemed to be working perfectly and within a few minutes we had gone through immigration and were ready to collect our luggage which appeared soon after.
The important thing is that much of the administration work, arrival details and vaccination records had been examined at the check-in desk in Santorini. And we assume that BA would have been more diligent about this than certain other airlines.
Much of the leg-work was removed from the Heathrow end and this has obviously smoothed out the arriving process.
There’s no doubt that media reports of chaos in the border control area during the summer, with legitimate passengers having to wait hours to enter the country, had stung the Home Office and prompted a significant improvement in procedures.