U.K. Airports To Offer Expedited Security For A Fee

by Cheryl Rosen
U.K. Airports To Offer Expedited Security For A Fee

Heathrow Airport in London.

Travelers headed to Britain will be able to avoid the lines at passport control by paying a fee for expedited service, under a controversial new two-tier plan proposed by the Home Office.

Many U.K. airports, including Manchester, Edinburgh and Heathrow, already offer fast-track security clearance for about £5 per person. But the proposed plan would expand the service—and the price—dramatically.

The proposed fast-track service would be available at airports throughout the country—and cost as much as £17.50 per person per entry, according to numerous U.K. media reports.

But U.K. unions have branded the idea a gimmick, and called for more border control staff instead.

Also this weekend, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd acknowledged that British travelers could be forced to pay for visas for trips to other European countries, since as the result of the Brexit vote they are no longer members of the European Union.

On Sunday Rudd suggested that Britain would accept the need for visas if it must, but warned it might retaliate with a similar fee to E.U. members seeking to enter the United Kingdom. 

France and Germany have proposed a system like the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa program in the United States, where inbound travelers can obtain a visa waiver online for a fee.

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