I read with interest Carl Heckel’s Jan. 18 letter, “Some welcome to America,” about the long delay he experienced going through passport control at Dulles International Airport. One evening last week, I flew into Dulles from London and had a similar experience. It was not the first time.
In this case, flights from Mexico and Munich arrived at about the same time as mine, causing at least 600 people to descend on passport control at once. There were more than 300 people in the U.S. citizen line. I was close to the middle of that pack, and when I arrived at a booth after an hour and 45 minutes, there were still about 100 people behind me. I saw a number of older people having trouble standing for such a long time, and I myself was in significant pain by the end. Only after loud complaints from many did the process speed up. On top of the excruciatingly slow processing, most personnel I witnessed had an offhand, “I don’t care” attitude.
I travel not infrequently to Europe, and nowhere else is the deplaning process so slow and discourteous as at Dulles. We could use a little of the politeness and efficiency found at European airports.
Bodil P. Meleney, Takoma Park