There’s nothing worse than rocking up to your holiday and finding the security line snaking around the terminal, but you need not join the back of the queue if you’ve booked Airport Fast Track!
But how much does it cost, and is Airport Fast Track worth it?
What is Airport Fast Track?
There are two different types of fast track that you can find at an airport, Security Fast Track and Passport Fast Track.
Security Fast Track is when you get to use a different queue for security than regular travellers meaning that if it’s busy, you may be able to speed up the security process.
Similarly, Passport Fast Track allows you to skip the queue at Passport Control.
How to Use Security Fast Track
You’ll need to check in for your flight like a regular Joe. Then, as you approach airport security, keep an eye out for the designated Fast Track lane – it should be clearly marked, but don’t be afraid to ask airport staff for directions.
Once you’re in the fast track queue, have proof of your booking at hand as it’s likely you’ll be asked for it. If you’ve booked it or get it for free through your airline, it may be linked or marked on your boarding pass.
Although you can use this express service to get through the line quicker, once you have reached the screening point, you’ll still need to follow the airport’s security procedures, like the bag and body scan so make sure you’re still adhering to all the rules.
How to Use Passport Fast Track
This service allows passengers to bypass the standard queues at passport control in airport arrivals. Just like the Security Fast Track, there will be a designated line for passengers who use this service.
However Fast Track for passport control is less common in airports, and sometimes only available in specific terminals. It’s generally not available to purchase on the day at the airport, so it’s worth checking beforehand.
How Much Will Airport Fast Track Cost?
Here are Airport Fast Track prices for some of the U.K’s busiest airports, whether you’re hoping to skip security or passport control.
N/A – invite only for first class and business class ticket holders
Additionally, some airports may charge a booking fee on top of the cost.
When Should I Book Airport Fast Track?
It’s always a good idea to book your fast-track pass ahead of time to avoid any last-minute hiccups. That, and during peak times, they can sometimes sell out!
Also, some airports require you to book the online pass no less than 24 hours before your flight so make sure you check with the airport you’re flying from.
However, if you’re feeling spontaneous, you may still be able to snag a pass upon your arrival at the airport for an additional cost depending on availability.
Is Fast Track Always Available?
Each airport will have specific times for when the Fast Track is available. Some will be open 24hrs while others will be closed during the early hours of the morning. You can check hours on the airport websites.
How Can I Book Airport Fast Track?
Then, you have some airlines, such as Ryanair, who will offer this as an add on when booking a flight with them.
However, some airlines and package holidays include Airport Fast Track for free!
How Can I Save Money on Airport Fast Track?
What Package Holiday Sites Offer Fast Track For Free?
Current Fast Track Offers
Book a summer holiday with On The Beach and receive free airport security Fast Track at selected airports throughout the country. Your order must be for a package holiday that includes flights and accommodation. The booking must also be paid in full and purchased between the dates of 1 May 2023 and 31 October 2023.
What Airlines Offer Free Fast Track?
Some airlines will offer business class and first class passengers airport for Fast Track for free:
- British Airways: First and Club World (Business Class) passengers are eligible for fast-track security and passport control at selected airports.
- Emirates: Business Class and First Class passengers can enjoy fast-track immigration and security at various airports worldwide.
- Qatar Airways: Business Class and First Class passengers have access to priority check-in, fast-track security, and passport control at select airports.
- Turkish Airlines: Business Class passengers are eligible for fast-track security and passport control at various airports.
Do You Need To Buy Fast Track For your Entire Group?
If you’re travelling with a group, everyone needs their own booking, even the little ones, so no sneaking your mates to the Fast Track queue!
Babies under a certain age can usually hitch a ride with a paying adult, but they still need to be accounted for so, just double-check the age limit with your airport.
Is Airport Fast Track Worth it?
Naturally, we’re all curious to know if the priority lanes are truly worth the hype. Well, you’ll find that some airports put a standard disclaimer in their terms and conditions that they cannot guarantee any time savings with the fast-track lane over standard security lines.
According to data from the Department of Transport, the average waiting time at security is 7.5 minutes – though this data is from before the pandemic! A study from 2022 shows that this number did rise to 19.5 minutes, though this was from a year where there were quite a few staffing issues and I would expect that average to dip once we get the data through for 2023.
Overall, it all depends on what type of traveller you are. If you can bear spending an extra few minutes in the queue, then it may not be worth the spend. But if you’re travelling with small kids or on a tight turnaround, an Airport Fast Track pass might just save you a headache.
My last experience of fast track was when a friend had paid for it and I hadn’t and so we decided to race one another. Whilst we entered security at different points, I ended up in the same queue as them and they were fuming they’d spend £7 and I hadn’t!!
However, whilst it’s not something I often shell out for – as so often security is more than manageable without it – if you are travelling at peak times before 10am, I do understand the temptation to pay to make the situation less stressful.
The main thing to remember is that it doesn’t guarantee you to speed through security, nor that the regular queues will be packed to the rafters either!