London Olympics: Flyers Can Expect 'Delays and Frustration'

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting that “policy documents” from the government’s border control agency warn that the thousands of visitors expected to attend the Olympics this summer “will cause long queues at Heathrow Airport – and may lead to non-Olympic passengers being held up as arrivals connected to the Games are given priority treatment.”

The London Olympics: Airfare Shopping Tips

Athletes to be Fast-Tracked at Heathrow

According to the report, some 25,000 Olympic participants – including athletes, coaches and various officials – will be fast-tracked for entry which could come at the expense of other travelers.

London Insiders: Where to Go, What to See

However, the report also notes that “thousands of airport immigration staff” will be transferred to Heathrow and other airports to deal with the expected crowds.

Heathrow will be the main point of entry, handling an estimated 80 percent of Olympic-related traffic and its busiest day – meaning worst for travelers – will reportedly be Monday, Aug. 13. This is the day after the Games’ big closing ceremony extravaganza and a day most travelers would be wise to avoid.

Heathrow to Handle 218,000 Bags in One Day

As the Daily Mail points out, Heathrow is expected to handle 218,000 bags on Aug. 13 alone, with many of them being oversized sporting equipment which can be expected to add to the delays.

London: Airport Guide and Travel Tips

Unless you really need that pole vaulting gear, a simple way to avoid the worst of the delays at the baggage carousel would be to use a carryon bag.


Published: January 3, 2012