1(a): Disembarkation and Transit processes Passport and visa requirements General immigration procedures Once passengers have arrived from their journey to Heathrow airport, they go through immigration and immigration officers will check their passports and visas to make sure that only those who have a right to enter the country do so. The immigration process can be extremely quick if the flight is between two European Union countries. However, non-EU resident enter through a different channel, where they are subjected to more severe checks.
Procedures for Asylum seekers Asylum seekers fleeing from their country arrive to UK airports with no documents, asking for asylum will be questioned by immigration officers, who will detain them in detention centres until it is decided if they should be allowed to stay in the UK. Validity requirements for EU passport holders and Visas Holders of EU passports are able to travel freely within Europe but passengers with other passports may be subjected to various requirements such as passports validity and visas.
Before entering the country, passengers are required to go through customs in UK airports; European Union Countries usually have three customs channels: the green (nothing to declare), the red (goods to declare) and the blue for arrivals from countries within the European Union. Customs officers watch passengers thoroughly and have the right to stop any passenger they consider to be suspicious. They also check if passengers are carrying the legal import limits and remove items which are restricted or banned in the arrival country.
Luggage reclaims Passenger assistance
Heathrow airport Customer Service Hosts at the information desks are more than happy to help passengers with queries and general enquiries including transfers and directions to baggage reclaim. Lost and damaged luggage procedures At Gatwick airport, if any passenger’s luggage is lost or damaged they must first contact the airline that brought them to Gatwick airport because the airlines are responsible for the safe and proper handling of their passengers’ luggage from the time they check it in to the time it reaches the reclaim area. Outsized luggage pick up
At Gatwick airport, outsized baggage such as skis and bicycles arrive in a separate area or are brought into the baggage reclaim on trolleys by baggage handlers. Arrival facilities For passengers Once passengers have arrived in the landside area at Gatwick airport they will find facilities including information desks, currency exchange, car hire, public transport and cash machines. For meeting air passengers Meeting passengers waiting in Gatwick airport arrivals hall are provided with facilities including shops, coffee bars and information screens or monitors showing flight arrival information.
Gatwick airport also provide meeting passengers with a short stay car park close to the terminal. For unaccompanied Unaccompanied minors arriving at UK airports are usually handed over by a member of the airline to the person designated by the parent or guardian and the receiving adult has to provide photo identification before the child can be released in their care. Transit passengers Passenger transfer Transit passengers transferring to another flight at Gatwick airport can wait at the airport terminal until their new flight is ready to board or book into an on-airport hotel.
Luggage procedures Usually in UK airports if a passenger’s trip involves several connecting flights between different airlines they may be able to check in their luggage just once for the entire journey and their luggage will automatically be transferred to their new flight. Minimum connection times Heathrow airport recommend that passengers allow an extra 30 minutes on to minimum connecting times to reach their connecting flights. The minimum connecting time between terminals 1 and 2 is 1 hour 30 minutes and between terminals 2 and 3 or 4 is takes 1 hour 40 minutes. Lounges
Many UK airports provide airport lounges for transit passengers willing to wait at the airport until their new flight is ready to board. Missed connection procedures When a passenger misses their connecting flight as a result of airline delays or weather conditions, the airline usually re-books the passenger on the next available flight or provides accommodations and meals if the flight departs the next morning. However, if something within the passenger’s control causes them to miss the connection, they are essentially on your own are not entitled to compensation from the airline