Entering the UK via Humberside Airport (or how to piss off 200+ UK citizens) with the capable assistance of the UK Border Agency.
I recently travelled through Humberside Airport on holiday. This is not a busy airport: they say they are:
“…a key national and international gateway to Northern and Eastern England, connecting over half a million passengers to 30 destinations every year.”
On the day I returned to the UK, they were handling roughly one incoming flight per hour. Which was just as well, as it took the UK Border Agency over an hour to actually allow me back into the country along with all the other pissed-off passengers on the charter flight.
The UKBA say:
“With tougher checks now in place at the border you may have to wait a little longer to get into the United Kingdom, especially at peak times. We use scanners to ensure that passports, visas and other official documents are genuine. Our officers are trained to detect forgeries and check that people have the right to enter the United Kingdom.
“An officer will check your passport and give you permission to stay, if you need it. We aim to see you within 45 minutes.
“If you are a national of the EU or EEA, you can use the separate EEA/EU channel, where we will usually check your passport or national identity card more quickly.”
Well at Humberside there’s one channel for non-EU travellers and there’s the main bit. The two numpties on duty when I came through looked as though they were on day release from an old folks’ home and clearly relished the opportunity to have a chat with each and every passenger. Presumably these two are what the UKBA refer to as “scanners” because they didn’t actually use any equipment other than their reading glasses and mouths… So after an hour’s queuing, I finally got through their vigorous entry procedures. Just as well it’s not like this at the UK airports I usually travel through on business…