The boss of British Airways’ parent company IAG said a detailed analysis of data and CCTV footage from Heathrow’s operator BAA showed some passengers queued for two hours and 31 minutes on April 27.
“Anybody who has gone through an airport in recent times has experienced the unacceptable poor standards that the border force has provided,” he said.
Official figures put the average waiting time across UK airports as six minutes for UK and EU citizens and 25 minutes for non-EU passengers.
As the battle of waiting times at Heathrow continued to rage – with major airlines demanding shorter wait times at immigration, and the UK Border Agency insisting on full passport checks – prime minister David Cameron reportedly told ministers that “we’ve got to grip this,” according to the BBC.
Immigration minister Damian Green has announced 80 extra staff will be drafted in to cut queues.
And he insisted that airports were taking “significant steps” to ensure the right channels were open at the right time.