Public blames government for Heathrow queues

Almost one in two UK adults would avoid booking a flight or holiday from Heathrow at present because of queues at border control, according to research for Travel Weekly.

Two out of five said they plan for delays when using Heathrow and one third “dread” flying to or from the airport.

The survey of 500 UK adults by Explore Research was carried out at the weekend following the press furore over lengthy delays at passport control for passengers with non-European Union passports.

More people blamed the government for the queues than anyone else, 30% saying the government was to blame. But more than one in five (22%) blamed border control staff, many of whom planned to strike today, and 17% blamed Heathrow operator BAA.

Just 4% blamed the airlines. However, one in five thought the airlines should still pay to sort out the problem.  Just over one third (36%) said the government should pay, and 43% said the burden should fall on BAA.

In practice, BAA and the airlines have little control over queues at passport control and have lobbied furiously for government action to cut the delays. Despite the queues, one in four respondents still rated Heathrow the most convenient airport for them and one fifth said they “take no notice of delays”.

Explore Research conducted the survey on behalf of Travel Weekly among a representative sample of 500 members of its in-house panel of 180,000 UK adults.

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