Making it easier to fly to the USA.

By | Category: Travel news

esta-usaPerhaps the most significant change in the way we fly to the US in almost twenty years is under way. It will make life so much easier for all of us who have had to tolerate the time lost, the queues that seemed to stretch for ages and the outbursts of temper as we realised that we had missed a connection due to the bureaucracy of trying to enter the country.

But relief is on hand because, at some stage in the future, we will have the opportunity to clear US immigration in the London and Manchester and then arrive at the domestic gates in the US saving potentially a great deal of time on landing.

Dublin has made much of the fact that it is one of the view airports in the world where it is possible to complete pre-screening before arrival in the US and Just about Travel has called for the same to be introduced in the UK.

Now the US authorities have identified Heathrow and Manchester as airports that they will negotiate to be used for pre-screening. How long the negotiations between our government and the US authorities will take is anyone’s guess. I asked people from the Departments of State, commerce (which is responsible for tourism) and Homeland Security and none of them would commit to a time-scale.

But if Heathrow and Manchester are included will this attract business from other UK airports that aren’t part of the negotiations such as Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and above all, Gatwick. Given that Gatwick and Heathrow are slugging it out as to where investment in the south east for a new runway is going to go, will the pre-screening at Heathrow tilt the airport in favour of having expansion.

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