Now you can pay to queue-jump at airport security

26 March 2009

Our beloved airports seem to have stumbled upon a new way to claw in a few more quid from frustrated passengers – charging them up to a fiver to allow them to push to the front of the security queue.

The scheme has been piloted at Luton, Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol airports and bean-counters at BAA, who own Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh and Glasgow are said to be licking their lips at the thought of it all.

Unlike fast-track check-in desks, there is no separate security scanner for those who have coughed up – they simply join a different queue and barge past the non-paying proletariat as they stride forwards, possibly with their noses held haughtily in the air.

Try and imagine it as similar to the Disney World Fastpass scheme, only instead of the white-knuckle ride at the end, all you get to do is take your belt off and empty the contents of your pocket into a plastic tray while sweating nervously even though you’ve done nothing wrong.


  • The B.
    "bean-counters at BAA, who own Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh and Glasgow" Not for very much longer thank FSM.
  • Fred C.
    In some less than democratic countries in the world and the ones usually associated with bribery and corruption and injustice , what you do to jump airport queues or any government queuess to bride the staff or employees with a tip. This example at the airports is exactly this but in UK and the money goes to lining the executive bonuses pot as they will achieve higher income performance targets by this charge. Additionally they will also achieve their work performance targets and get these salary performance bonuses as they will now be able to fiddle the passenger delay targets by averaging the usual long queues passenger turnaround time and the ones with the fast track. For example: say the normal queue takes you on average 10 mins and the fast track is 2 mins then you can claim a passenger turnaround time of 10min + 2mins divided by 2 and get 6 mins average target and then you can claim that you have reduced passenger delay from 10 mins to 6 mins which is 40% reduction!
  • Janey
    When I flew out of Luton a couple of weeks back, they were very coy about how much fast-tracking would cost. I am very relieved it is only £5, but suspect the lack of indication implies an intention to change the price. I reckon the last chance to pay was well before I could see how short the queues were, though I guess you could always turn back.
  • P E.
    I flew out of Luton last week and there were pay machines both at the top and bottom of the escalators, so you could see the queue allbeit through the door into the main cattle market area. I didnt use it and was still through well within 10 minutes plus I got to eye up all the crumpet in the queue! win win situation lol
  • wtf
    I did this years ago in the US
  • Ghost
    Who in their right mind would pay to get through security quicker? Unless you're seriously late for a flight, all that's waiting for you on the other side is hours sat in a cramped departures lounge (unless you've forked out even more for a first class upgrade that is!)
  • Mike H.
    Don't the rich jump queues anyways? The last bloke to queue jump infront of me got himself a broken leg. In Italy they all jump queues, what I don't understand is, that if all Italians jump queues, who's at the front?
  • misst
    I did this a year ago in Bristol for a flight to America, it was part of the premium package... well worth it in my opinion, when you are travelling with children, you have to que at every point through the airport, so being able to get through quickly gives you more time to sit down and relax before your flight.
  • acecatcher3
    lol at security person in picture looking like micheal jackson before colour change....even got the gloves in her pocket.
  • SJT
    Passengers who fly business/first get this anyway (and pay extra for it, as part of their more expensive ticket). It's nothing new.
  • Topman
    Does this mean I will be first to get a rubber glove up my arse just because I paid for a faster service!!!
  • lucerysum
    We flew from Liverpool last year-and the queues were seriously long-i mean one lady said she was in the queue for over an hour.............we were lucky-if you have a buggy with a child in you have to use the lift-then you get put in the fastpass queue free-just a tip for anyone with children !
  • Callum
    Seems I was lucky then. Security in Gatwick took me around 5-10 minutes to get through.
  • veedubjai
    The scheme has been piloted at Luton, Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol airports. No wonder they started on these smaller airport first as a trial period. Could you imagine if they started this the first time at the bigger airports. Kerching! Riot.

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