My wife and I (both US) are flying in and out of LHR in September. I have an e-passport, she does not. Will we be directed to different queues? Should she replace her current passport before we travel? Thanks for any advice!
U.S. passport holders can use the egates. If your passport doesn't work in the egates, like mine, you are directed to a side desk to see an agent. This is not the same as the other, long, immigration line. This side line will have Americans, British, or any other passport holder allowed to use the egates but can't get it to work. (The computer chip in my passport is damaged.)
What I do is get on the line for the egates and when I can, slip over to the side desk. If you don't know where that is, she can go through the motions of trying to get the passport to work and when it doesn't she will be shown where to go. You are free to join her. The longest it's ever taken me, which was in April, was 10 minutes.)
If you think you can get a new passport in time, you could try for that. (Even though mine is damaged, I was told at Heathrow that I didn't need to get a new passport. I would just have to see the agent.)
You don't need to go through immigration leaving LHR. You just have to show the airline that you have a valid passport.
Yes, you will use different queues however if you do not want to use the e-gates you can queue with your wife for the standard entry.
By "e-passport" I presume you mean one with the chip in it? ( https://www.dhs.gov/e-passports )
My old passport issued in 2012 had the chip. How is it your wife has an unexpired passport without the chip?