Senior Executives at Heathrow have warned that airports may not be able to cope with queues at border control if they are to continue manually checking travellers ‘passenger locator forms’.
The news comes as the Global Travel Taskforce recently changed its messaging around travel from “it’s too early to book a summer holiday” to “people are free to book holidays abroad in the summer.”
Chris Garton, Chief Solutions Officer at Heathrow, explained that “Heathrow is currently handling 10,000 to 15,000 passengers a day. Half of those experience delays in excess of two to three hours because of the checks at the border.”
With international travel expected to resume in May, and no sign of a digitalised passenger locator form currently in place, what can holidaymakers do to protect their holidays from mass queues at border control?
Those looking to get away as soon as the travel ban is lifted from May 17 should look for a travel insurance policy that includes protection against missed departure due to reasons you could not have expected to foresee or avoid. This type of cover should, in most cases, provide cover for alternative transportation in order for you to reach your trip destination in the event that something unexpected caused you to miss your flight.
Travellers will need to be able to provide evidence that they took all reasonable steps to ensure that they reached the airport on time and that the missed departure was due to something they could not have foreseen.
For example, often, this type of cover would protect you in the event that there was a car crash on the motorway on your way to the airport that caused you to miss your flight. Or, for example, that when you arrived at the train station to catch the Gatwick Express the train experienced signal failure, causing you to miss your flight.
However, it’s worth being aware that should mass queues at border control continue into the weeks after the event, and this become widely-known knowledge, insurers that offer this cover may deem this as a known event. Although, this type of protection is still worth looking for as anything could happen in life that prevents you from catching your flight.