Feel­ing down as the se­cu­rity queues go up

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - CLAIRE MILLER AND KATHER­INE CLE­MEN­TINE Twit­ter: @GetWestLon­don

AIR­PORT se­cu­rity wait­ing times are on the up at Bri­tain’s largest air­port, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est statis­tics.

So if you think you’re spend­ing longer in air­port se­cu­rity queues at Heathrow air­port, you might be right.

More than a quar­ter of pas­sen­gers at the air­port last year (27%) said they spent be­tween five and 10 min­utes in a queue for se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity’s sur­vey into pas­sen­ger se­cu­rity screen­ing at air­ports.

Wait­ing times at the hub air­port were up by 23% from 2015’s fig­ures, and last year saw an av­er­age queue time of 6.8 min­utes.

Ter­mi­nal 4 was deemed the worst for the long­est waits, with 2% of pas­sen­gers say­ing they waited 21 to 30 min­utes and 1% said they waited for be­tween 31 min­utes and an hour.

But Ter­mi­nal 3 scored best for sat­is­fac­tion, at 90%, com­pared to 85% at Ter­mi­nal 4.

Per­haps un­sur­pris­ingly, queue­ing was the least sat­is­fac­tory thing about se­cu­rity screen­ing, with 4% of pas­sen­gers cit­ing it as some­thing they were un­happy with.

Among other com­plaints were the slow speed of the screen­ing process, with 3% of pas­sen­gers say­ing it was the least sat­is­fac­tory part of the process, and staff at­ti­tude/po­lite­ness scored 2%.

How­ever, over­all 81% of pas­sen­gers said no part of the process was the least sat­is­fac­tory.

Mostly pas­sen­gers were sat­is­fied with their ex­pe­ri­ence of se­cu­rity screen­ing. A to­tal of 87% said they were sat­is­fied or very sat­is­fied against just 2% who said they were dis­sat­is­fied or very dis­sat­is­fied.

As well as this, pas­sen­gers were very likely to agree that any in­con­ve­nience caused by se­cu­rity screen­ing was ac­cept­able, which made up 91% of those quizzed at Heathrow.

More than 20,000 re­spon­dents were asked about their ex­pe­ri­ence of se­cu­rity screen­ing at five air­ports which were Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Lu­ton and Manch­ester.

The Depart­ment for Trans­port, which pub­lishes the sur­vey re­sults, said pas­sen­gers tend to over­es­ti­mate their queu­ing time so these fig­ures are likely to be higher than ac­tual times at these air­ports.

How­ever, they give some in­di­ca­tion of rel­a­tive queu­ing times be­tween air­ports and the ex­tent to which these have changed over time.

In 2016, the ma­jor­ity (85%) of air pas­sen­gers sur­veyed said they were very sat­is­fied or sat­is­fied with their ex­pe­ri­ences of se­cu­rity screen­ing, with just 4% say­ing they were very dis­sat­is­fied or dis­sat­is­fied. The as­pects of se­cu­rity screen­ing with which pas­sen­gers were least sat­is­fied were queu­ing (cited by 5%), slow speed of pro­cess­ing (3%) and gen­eral or­gan­i­sa­tion (2%).

The ma­jor­ity of pas­sen­gers (79%) said there was no as­pect with which they were least sat­is­fied.

The pro­por­tion of pas­sen­gers who dis­agreed or strongly dis­agreed in­creased to 4% in 2016.

Gatwick scored well in the sur­vey with the high­est ac­cep­tance, as 96% agreed or strongly agreed, where sat­is­fac­tion with se­cu­rity screen­ing was also high­est.

But the other end of the scale with ac­cep­tance at the low­est was at Stansted (87%), where sat­is­fac­tion was also low­est.

Pas­sen­gers told the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity that queue­ing was the least scrA­sur­veys says Heathrow Air­port’s se­cu­rity wait­ing times are on the up sat­is­fac­tory thing about se­cu­rity een­ing

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