Air passengers can pay to queue jump

SMH 27/03/09

Queue jumping is one of the worst faux pas that can be committed in England, but some of the country's airports are charging for the privilege.

Passengers at London's Luton Airport can pay £3 ($6) to enter a channel taking them to the front of the line for security scanning.

Air Transport Users Council spokesman Simon Evans said airports would have little incentive to reduce queueing times once they started profiting from delays.

"There is a danger this could result in a worse service for passengers in the ordinary queue, who will be pushed back by each person who pays the fee," he told The Times. "That would be unacceptable."

Luton Airport defended the move, telling the paper: "Some people choose to pay extra for valet parking or access to the executive lounge and we think they would appreciate the choice to bypass the queues at security.  "People may want to treat themselves."  The scheme has been running at airports in Bristol, which charges five pounds, Leeds and Liverpool, where the fee is the same as Luton.