Fast-track services seen as a waste of money by the majority of UK passengers

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A UK-wide survey by queue management specialist Tensator, has found that in spite of recent hikes in security measures at airports, almost two-thirds (65%) of holidaymakers would rather save their cash than pay £5 (US$6.55) to get through passport control faster.

The study follows controversial government plans that could see air passengers having to stump up between £5 (US$6.55) and £17.50 (US$23) to join the fast lane.

Joanne Turner, head of marketing at Tensator, said, “With thousands of families worrying about the impact of the fluctuating exchange rate on their escape to sunnier climes, the message is clear – they’re happy to wait when they’re about to board the airplane in order to save money.

“With the availability of speedy boarding increasingly prevalent, our study contradicts the notion that splashing the cash should get you there faster. In fact, the majority of individuals traveling this year will be happy to keep a stiff upper lip rather than pay their way out of a long queue.”

The study also highlights that a large proportion of Brits like to scrutinize fellow passengers, with 52.4% of respondents claiming to judge fellow travelers based on age, gender or how friendly they look. In addition, 72.9% of respondents believe the self-scan passport option has improved queuing times, but 54.1% would like to see more members of staff to speed up waiting times even more.

Dr Zsuzsanna Vargha, associate professor at the University of Leicester School of Business, said, “Queues are based on the idea of equal access in order of arrival, and from this viewpoint, priority lanes are not a convenient option of paying to avoid a line.

“Buying oneself out of the line, out of the accepted mode of accessing the airport services, may be considered a way of demonstrating privilege.

“This violates the strong social rules about queuing and queue jumping. In this sense, people may not think of it as saving their cash by not using priority lanes, but rather as something undesirable altogether.”

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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