How to avoid the long immigration queues at Heathrow Airport, according to travel experts

TRAVELLING through Heathrow Airport has been difficult for holidaymakers in recent weeks, with queues a long as five hours at immigration.

Broken eGates, extra Covid checks and a shortage of Border Force have led to some chaotic scenes at the busy London Airport.

Thankfully, there are some ways to help you get through as quickly as possible, if you face a long wait at the border.

Here are some of the top tips, compiled by the Points Guy.

Choose flights outside of peak times

Before booking a holiday you should check the time your flight lands – and try and choose an arrival time which isn't at the peak time.

US flights land between 6:30am and 10am at London Heathrow, so can expect long queues then.

Sunday evenings are also some of the busiest, especially from 5pm onwards, as passengers are likely to be returning before work on Monday.

This means if you can return during the week, or in the late morning/early afternoon, you are more likely to whizz through immigration.

Book seats at the front of the plane

If you want to avoid being stuck behind the whole plane trying to get their suitcases out from the overhead lockers, you are best to pay for a seat near the front.

Most flights will depart from the front, so the nearer you are then the quicker you will be able to leave.

This doesn't just mean booking business or first class seats, but try and get the front economy ones for a quicker time in disembarking.

This means you will be at the front of the queue for immigration too.

Use the bathroom before landing

One of the longest queues pre-immigration? The bathrooms.

Many passengers who need to use the bathroom when a plane is landing will head straight to the toilets, meaning you are likelyto have to wait ages before even getting to the border.

Have your documents ready

The reason many of the queues are longer is due to the number of Covid checks they are having to do.

Delays are then caused by families who don't have everything to show when they are at the front of the line.

To speed this up, have it all ready to access on your phone or print it all out.

This includes your passport, Passenger Locator Form and proof of vaccination or tests required.

Head straight to the eGates

The quickest queues at the eGates at London Heathrow, where passengers can simply scan their passport to get through, and you could get through in mere minutes.

Oftne much faster, staff may even open more gates if they see large crowds of passengers at arrival

When using the gates, make sure to take off any hats or glasses, or the gates may send you to a separate line at immigration to get checked.

Don't head there if you are travelling as a family though – kids under 12 can't use them, so you will have to use the normal immigration lines.

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