I now have an excellent and justified reason (beyond collecting tier points) to travel Club Europe on British Airways.
I recently wrote an article entitled “Is British Airways Club Europe Worth It?” where I questioned why people pay extra to travel Club Europe on British Airways. I concluded that for 3 people departing from Heathrow, the benefit of access to the British Airways Galleries Lounge in London Heathrow, the more spacious seating arrangement (although same sized seats), extra baggage, and improved service and food up the front of the plane were not worth the expense. However, having been stuck in an arrivals queue for almost an hour when returning back to London Heathrow Terminal 5, I have somewhat changed my mind.
You see when you arrive in Heathrow Terminal 5 and reach passport control you have 4 choices of queue; the Fast Track queue for First, Club World, and Club Europe passengers, the queue for non-EU passports, the queue EU passports, and e-passports queue. Both times I recently returned through Heathrow, there was little to no queue on the Fast Track queue or the E-Passport queue but there was an enormous queue if you were from the EU and have a standard passport.
This queue is most unpleasant and I always end up next to the sneezing person, so my options are to travel with an e-passport, which is possible in principle but as I always travel with my 5-year-old and young kids are not allowed in the retina scanner e-passport queue, the only option I have left is to travel Club Europe (or Club World).
In future, I will be paying for Club Europe to avoid the unpleasant hour or so long queue. If I were traveling on my own, having an e-passport would whisk me through passport control almost as quickly but as this is not an option for me, I shall be booking Club Europe on my next flight home.
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