As a new mum, I dread the idea of travelling back home after a long-haul flight abroad with my 17 month old toddler and being stuck in a lengthy passport queue. The option of going through an exclusive fast track queue very much appeals to me. Busy senior executives and entrepreneurs who are similarly time poor are likely to happily take up this fast track service.
Granted, it seems rather cheeky that we are expected to pay anywhere from £5 to £17.50 (dependent on which airport you go through) for this service, but I'll take it! Perhaps I'm not too phased by these fees due to my profession. As a Business Immigration lawyer I am accustomed to seeing the government introducing increased Home Office fee charges each year. More fee changes are expected this Autumn and again in April 2017.
Having said that, if the aim is to let people through passport control more quickly what's the effect on Border Security? If you're currently obsessed with the series "Our Girl" airing on BBC one, then you'll want security to trump an expedited service any day.
Perhaps an issue for consideration by my employment colleagues, but I don't think the fast track passport control issue is just about the money, or Border Security, but rather a quickfix band-aid to cover the real issue of under staffing.
Travellers are to be charged to get through passport checks quickly at British airports, with some paying as much as £17.50, the Home Office has confirmed. The charge is an attempt to cut queues, but unions called it a gimmick and accused the government of failing to properly fund border controls.