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View Full Version : E-passport changes will cause longer queues for Britons, leak reveals


PAXboy
14th Mar 2019, 00:30
This report in The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/mar/13/e-passport-changes-will-cause-longer-queues-for-britons-leak-reveals)
British citizens using biometric passports to travel this summer will be confronted by longer queues than before at UK borders, despite promises from Brexiters that leaving the EU will make travel easier for Britons.

A Home Office analysis seen by the Guardian has concluded that changes announced by Philip Hammond on Wednesday, which allow citizens from seven other countries including the US to use e-passports to travel through Britain, will slow down UK citizensí journey times.

The chancellor said in his spring statement that the government would allow citizens of the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea to use e-passport gates. They currently have to fill in paper landing cards and present them to a border official, while passengers from the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland are able to use biometric passports.

Leaked documents show that government officials examined the effect of these changes earlier this year and concluded there would be a small but significant impact on waiting times for UK citizens.

Sultan Ismail
14th Mar 2019, 00:55
UK Border could eliminate some manual queues by keeping the e-gates open 24 hours, my last two morning arrivals from S.E.Asia had me queuing for 20 minutes, the e-gates opened at 6am

ZFT
14th Mar 2019, 01:21
Would help if they also opened all the e-gates rather than the typical 50%

nivsy
14th Mar 2019, 08:32
Would help if they also opened all the e-gates rather than the typical 50%
Apparently, the number of E gates open is dependent on the number of staff working the shift. If not at full staff capacity, and they are likely to be carrying vacancies, then the number of open e gates reflect that situation. Quite for why, I am unsure.

DaveReidUK
14th Mar 2019, 08:56
Quite for why, I am unsure.

They need staff to insist that travellers whose passport chips never work nevertheless try the e-gates at least three times before they are allowed to go to a manned desk. :O

nivsy
14th Mar 2019, 09:14
They need staff to insist that travellers whose passport chips never work nevertheless try the e-gates at least three times before they are allowed to go to a manned desk. :O
Oh dear yes I have seen this in practice also of failing to operate and not just getting the pressure right on the pad. In depth of mind there was also an issue of bad batch of passport chip production some time ago. No doubt still on going.

farci
14th Mar 2019, 19:58
May I ask my more informed colleagues to clarify?

Are e-gates dependent on human confirmation of the presented passport or is it totally reliant on biometrics?

I regularly exit at AMS through e-gates with no immigration officer in the wee booth at the back. If totally biometric why would the gates be closed when staff is not available?

Kiltrash
14th Mar 2019, 21:33
When we came through LGW last November there were several new e gates being installed presumably so 'foreigner's with chipped passports can use the system

DaveReidUK
14th Mar 2019, 22:27
I regularly exit at AMS through e-gates with no immigration officer in the wee booth at the back. If totally biometric why would the gates be closed when staff is not available?

I suspect that if there was a problem where the computer couldn't reconcile your mug with your passport photo, you would see a human presence PDQ. :O

PAXboy
14th Mar 2019, 23:21
For those that the e-gates can't read, they balance the number of humans at the end of the row. I have no idea what ratio they work to. My e-passport was rejected by gates at LGW, LHR, LTN for seven trips before it was accepted the first time. Each time the human said the chip was working normally and could be read and passed me through. They just shrug their shoulders and get on to the next.

Asturias56
15th Mar 2019, 13:31
the staff hate them as they think they'll be out of a job.

Didn't "someone"sabotage the early e-gates at ?Manchester???

Espada III
19th Mar 2019, 19:25
The only unrealiable e-Gates are in the UK. I take a deep breath when I arrive home. Using them in other countries, they just - you know - work!

nivsy
19th Mar 2019, 20:06
The only unrealiable e-Gates are in the UK. I take a deep breath when I arrive home. Using them in other countries, they just - you know - work!
I actually disagree with that comment. frankly when I think of all the euro airports I go through except for Helsinki and AMS I don't even recall being able to use any such gates and it always manual passport check. What airports in Europe are you referring to?

RevMan2
20th Mar 2019, 09:11
I actually disagree with that comment. frankly when I think of all the euro airports I go through except for Helsinki and AMS I don't even recall being able to use any such gates and it always manual passport check. What airports in Europe are you referring to?

How about Frankfurt? They had them yesterday...

slfsteve
20th Mar 2019, 18:51
I've never been able to use an E gate in the UK, everytime i get seek assistance and then when you go to see a human they appear to be grumpy and quiz you as to where you have been, however at Mallorca airport i went straight through the e gate with no issues.

Asturias56
21st Mar 2019, 13:55
Variable - never had a problem in Lisbon, occasional issues at AMS, common issues at LHR, serious problems In CDG

and that's using different passports over the years

esa-aardvark
28th Mar 2019, 09:53
Not sure that UK attempts to "reconcile your mug with your passport photo",
I think it just takes another photo. UK readers seem to me to be much less less
reliable than NZ, Australia, Singapore, Spain (all I have been to recently)

PAXboy
28th Mar 2019, 23:16
They were working today (Thursday) in HAM. The system let me in to the first gate very quickly but, after it took the photo, I had to wait at least 40 seconds before I was released. Perhaps the system could not ID me with my reduced hair [age] from the photo and a human had to look at the stored image and the new one?

RevMan2
29th Mar 2019, 07:09
It never ceases to amaze me - given the general air of mindless psychopathic chaos prevalent at US airports - that the CBP kiosks at LAX invariably work faultlessly. On-blocks ex AKL to Avis in under an hour last week.

Asturias56
29th Mar 2019, 11:28
From just looking I think the Lisboa system has an officer sitting in a booth at one side with a TV that he can switch to to whichever machine is causing problems with facial ID - he then looks at the picture from the passport on his PC and compares it to the TV and (almost always) decides it's OK - he doesn't have to get out of the chair and it's very quick

boeingeng
10th Apr 2019, 13:56
They need staff to insist that travellers whose passport chips never work nevertheless try the e-gates at least three times before they are allowed to go to a manned desk. :O

To be fair thats not just the UK. My wifes fingerprints didnt record well when she was issued her US visa so the automated passport readers never work - never the less she always has to line up and go through them before getting a fail and then she can line up at a manned desk.

Stupidity is no respecter of borders.

starling60
10th Apr 2019, 21:12
I can confirm that funnily enough they always work abroad... mistery!

1DC
10th Apr 2019, 21:42
Mrs 1DC and I both had e passports, Mrs 1DC's never worked but mine did. More often than not when Mrs 1DC's failed she was directed to a real person and got through as quick as i did at the e gate.. I wrote to the passport office to say her's didn't work and was told that if i sent it back to the passport office they would check it and if they decided that it was faulty they would replace it but if they decided it wasn't faulty they would charge me £80. The passports only had 18 months to run to expiry so we decided to wait until renewal. We now have new passports and they both work well.