FLIGHTS across the Atlantic are reaching the busiest time of the year, which means queues for US Immigration are at their longest. Members of the British Airways Executive Club (0787 313300; membership free) can now benefit from a system of partial pre-clearance. You register your personal details with the club, which then passes the information to the US authorities on the day of your flight. A blue sticker is attached to your passport, and, on arrival, you proceed through a special Blue Channel, which moves faster than the others because officers need not type in your details.

Quicker still is the Inspass system, now undergoing trials at New York's international airports. As the Independent has reported, travellers use a pre- programmed card with their personal details and electronic measurements of their hand. At immigration, there is a measuring device on which the traveller places his or her hand; if the information it receives tallies with the card, an electronically operated gate opens. The process takes less than a minute.

The catch is that you have to register in advance, and this can only be done on leaving New York. The immigration service has an Inspass office in each terminal at Kennedy and Newark airports. Enrolment takes 10 minutes and is free. So far, 3,000 Britons have signed up. For further information, contact the London office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (071-481 8909).

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