Fast Track Security: Is it worth paying extra?

Getting through security at the airport can either be hit or miss. You’ll either breeze through with no trouble at all, or you’ll be waiting for what seems like an eternity to pass through and get to the departures area.

If you’re flying in a Premium Cabin or you are in one of the higher tiers of an airlines’ frequent flyer program; then you may be eligible to access Fast Track Security as part of your trip. This is without doubt a perk at larger airports and can save you time and hassle.

Over the past few years I’ve noticed that several airports are now offering Fast Track Security as an ancillary option which is available to everyone. Let’s take a look at London Gatwick for example. For just £5 per person, travellers are able to skip the queues and utilise the fast-track security lanes. On their website, it’s described as a premium security experience with a dedicated security lane to provide a queue-free, stress-free gateway to the shops, restaurants and lounges.

£5 is pretty good, but the number of times I have passed through Gatwick Airport and noticed that the Premium Security Lane has been closed, there is no queue at the main entrance or even that officers haven’t been checking boarding passes/confirmation e-mails as travellers enter the zone. Doesn’t that defeat the object of it?

Of course it is a great ancillary product and service to offer travellers, which I am sure is very popular. In the future I expect many other airports will offer this service.

Are you someone who would happily pay extra to get through security or would you rather save that money to spend in the departures area or even actually at your destination? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

If that wasn’t enough, you can pay £12.50 per traveller to speed through the arrivals process when you return to London Gatwick with the Premium Gatwick Passport Control Service. Is that a good idea? It depends when your flight arrives back into the UK. The lines at immigration vary throughout the day. One moment it could be very calm and serene. The next, you’ll be waiting in a uni-queue that goes back more than ten rows. 

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