New UK Border Rules Could Turn Flight Attendants into Immigration Officers
The UK has a new immigration bill that could affect anyone travelling to the UK. Airline passengers could face lengthy queues at the departure gates when a raft of new border checks are introduced in 18 months. All travelers will have their passports swiped before they board their flight. The government wants airline staff to take on some of the power of an immigration officer so they can carry out passport inspections at the departure gate. Airlines will be compelled to carry out the checks or face a fine, under measures published by the Government in the Bill. It means airline staff, or those working for the airport, will check passports against electronic databases to "identify threats or persons of interest". The government is committed to introduce the exit checks by 2015 and the legislation will introduce powers to enable carrier and port operator staff to play a role in carrying out the checks. The aim of the bill is to make it much harder for offenders to flee British justice and to better identify those who are in the UK illegally.