The dedicated fast-track lane at Liverpool John Lennon airport may be good news for passengers who are willing to pay £2 each to get through security quickly, but airline crew are up in arms about it and their union has called for a rethink by the airport operators.
Prior to the introduction of the fast-track facility, crew members had a dedicated channel at security. This has now been withdrawn in order to free up capacity for fast trackers, and crew members now have to queue with them in order to clear security. Airlines have issued pilots and crew with priority passes, which means in theory that they can queue-jump.
This has not, however, endeared them to those who have coughed up for the privilege of speedy clearance, and pilots and stewards have been subjected to shouts from members of the public telling them to wait their turn.
BALPA (British Airline Pilots’ Association) have called the set-up “ridiculous” and pointed out that their members do not want to get into an argument with passengers before they even board the flight. On the other hand they can sympathise with passengers who have paid extra for a service which they do not feel is delivering.
Robin Tudor, spokesperson for the airport, has, however, defended the scheme and said that there have been no formal complaints made by passengers. Members of an aviation industry forum have meanwhile complained that at Gatwick North terminal security staff are moving passengers from the normal channels to the fast track since the queues there are shorter, much to the irritation of Business and First Class passengers.