Olympic Athletes to Get a 'Fast Pass' Lane at LHR for London 2012
There are 206 days to go until the 2012 Olympics in London, so trust that our U.K.-based sources will be bringing you all the latest as we continue ground coverage leading up to the Games: the touristy swarms clogging up Westminster and the Southbank, the Cultural Olympiad, the general excuse for even more drunken revelry than usual, the works.
To kick off 2012, a word to the wise among summer travelers set to pass through Heathrow around the Games: you might have to face even more unbearable lines at airport immigration owing to a VIP passport lane being established strictly for athletes. The U.K. Border Agency will be taking and checking biometric data (translation: fingerprints) from visiting athletes, with lanes at immigration dedicated solely to the task of checking said data.
25,000 athletes are set to come through Heathrow during the Olympics, and this security Fast Pass lane of sorts (minus the Disney fun) is intended to "speed up the process [of collecting]…the biometric information" of athletes that don't provide it prior to arriving in London. This could translate to "normal" folk being subjected to delays as they make their own way through border control.
Having faced lines upward of two hours at Heathrow in the past, we can't imagine what queue hell awaits travelers come summertime. The last time we faced a major delay at LHR we caught a woman whip out her copy of War and Peace; the Olympics could provide the perfect opportunity to give the 1,400 pages Tolstoy tome and do your high school English teacher proud.