When planning your trip to the airport, uncertainty about how long the security line will be can only add to the anxiety.
It doesn’t matter that you pre-hydrated and arrived hours early, there’s nothing you can do to get around the long line of people ahead of you.
Or is there?
A US travel influencer who goes by @raimeetravels on TikTok has shared a little-known hack to get in and out of security at Heathrow Airport in less than five minutes.
You can now pre-book a specific time slot when you need to arrive at security to beat the queues and speed up the process.
It’s currently being tested so only select flights leaving Terminal 3 can use it – however the influencer believes it “should be in every airport”.
The TikToker explained: “If you’re flying out of London Heathrow soon, you need to know about this so you can avoid the insanely long security queues.
“I share rides to help you travel smarter, and this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen an airport do.
“They have a new thing called Timeslot that allows you to schedule when you’re going through security.
“You can pick your time slot two to three days before your trip, you’ll get a QR code and then you’ll get to the specific area of Heathrow.”
Aimee’s video has been viewed by over 589,000 people in just a few days, drawing attention to the new travel hack.
She added: “There are signs everywhere, you will be able to find it. You’ll take out your liquids, put them in the bag, and honestly I went through security just as quickly as I would in the States using my TSA Precheck and CLEAR.
“I’m not kidding when I say I got through security at Heathrow in less than five minutes and that’s never happened to me at an international airport.
“So don’t forget to use this next time you fly out of Heathrow and I think we should do this thing at every airport, what do you think?”
Commenters wrote “This is interesting but trying to be at Heathrow for a certain amount of time is a challenge” and “For once a really useful hack. Thanks!’
Others added “Omg I didn’t know about that! This is a game changer!!’ and yes! I like the idea of a predictable security wait.”
It comes after state-of-the-art security scanners were installed at London City Airport and Teesside International Airport in northern England.
The new CT machines use X-ray technology to make a high-resolution 3D image of luggage, allowing assessors to see it from any angle and get a more detailed view of the contents.
This will mean you won’t have to take anything out of your bag, including liquids, which should speed up the process considerably.
The British government requires all major UK airports to use the technology by June 2024, just in time for next year’s summer holidays.
Who can use Timeslot?
The Heathrow website explains that slots are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and you can arrive 15 minutes before or after your scheduled time.
It’s a free service that helps the airport “regulate the flow through security and speed up the process.”
There are currently reservations for flights at Terminal 3 operated by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.
It is also important to note that the booking platform does not allow bookings for time slots that are less than 90 minutes before departure for long-haul flights or less than 60 minutes before departure for short-haul flights.