Pre-Olympics Strike at Heathrow to Add to Travelers' Frustration

For weeks now, the immigration and customs lines at London‘s Heathrow Airport have been the focus of complaints as travelers find themselves waiting in queues for as long as three hours.

This has prompted bickering and finger-pointing among airport owners, government agencies and even the head of the London Olympics committee but numerous demands to fix the problem have so far been unsuccessful.

Everything You Need to Know about the London Olympics

Strike at Heathrow Called for May 10

Now, the long lines may get worse as a strike threat looms. Two unions representing the men and women who staff the Border Force – the people who staff those long lines to check passports – have announced a one-day labor action that’s been set for Thursday, May 10.

The Summer’s Single ‘Busiest Day’ at Heathrow

Executives with the British airlines that fly in and out of Heathrow have been meeting with the Home Secretary to work out contingency plans for the strike, but airline executives have been calling for reforms for weeks now because of “frequent and excessive delays” and are demanding extra border staff throughout the summer travel season.

‘Chaos’ before Olympics

Meanwhile, an unidentified border agent who works the lines appeared in silhouette on Britain’s Channel 4 News to characterize the situation as, “Chaos, just complete chaos.” However, government officials seem to believe the situation will improve in the coming weeks and those in the UK tourism sector certainly hope so. After all, the London Olympic Games are set to begin July 27 which is a mere 12 weeks from today.

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Published: May 4, 2012