A long wait at customs some years ago returning from a trip with my wife was the impetus for both of us to get Global Entry. Another long wait at Heathrow has convinced me to finally sign up for the UK Registered Traveller program. I’ve arrived in London on Lufthansa several times recently, and often had long waits at the border. Likely since most flyers on that route are EU residents, they do not provide Fast Track passes even for those in business class.
I have saved many hours with my NEXUS card, and I also take advantage of other expedited entry programs when I can, including FastPass in Germany, E-Channel in Hong Kong, and Trusted Traveler in Japan. The UK version isn’t cheap, but I’m finally going to give it a try.
What is Registered Traveller?
This program is somewhat similar to Global Entry, allowing the use of kiosks instead of talking to an agent when crossing the border. UK Registered Travelers need not fill out a landing card. Unlike Global Entry, this program is not intended for residents of the UK or EU countries. Instead, it allows certain foreigners access to shorter resident lines and kiosks to expedite the entry process.
This program is available to those 18 or older who have a UK visa or entry clearance, or who have visited the UK at least 4 times in 24 months. Eligible passports include:
- Bostwana, Namibia, Seychelles
- Hong Kong (SAR passports only)
- South Korea
- Taiwan (if your passport has a personal ID number on the photo page)
- Vatican City State
- Middle East
- North America
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Samoa, Tonga
- South and Central America
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Trinidad and Tobago
Where can you use Registered Traveller?
This is available at major airports in the UK, including Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, London City, Luton, Manchester, and Stansted. The service is also available at Eurostar terminals in Brussels, Lille, and Paris.
How to Apply for Registered Traveller?
If eligible, it costs £70 to apply, which is currently just under $100. This is good for one year, and renewals are £50. If application is denied, the fee is refunded minus a £20 processing fee. The application process is online and quite simple, only taking 5 minutes or so. In my case, It took 3 business days from my application before I received provisional acceptance into the program.
Another recent trip through Heathrow and while I had to wait in the visitor line, I completed my registration with an agent there. She was cheerful and put a sticker on the back of my passport, denoting my membership. Now I can use the kiosks or resident queues going forward. The agent mentioned I could use any line, whichever is fastest, including Fast Track, although I’m not certain that is the case. Mostly I’m just excited to skip the queue when arriving in London.
Membership in the program requires renewal each year, and costs £50. It costs £20 to update the system with a new passport. This is not cheap, but I’m hoping the time saved will make it worthwhile for me.
Like many other expedited entry programs, I am fine with giving up some personal information and some cash to save time. I’m looking forward to getting through the UK border more quickly on future trips. What about you, have you joined UK Registered Traveller? What has been your experience?