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Passport never works at eGates?

Passport never works at eGates?

Old Nov 24, 22, 6:44 am
  #346  
 
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Originally Posted by London Dude View Post
That's also been my experience, with Miami being the only notable exception.
Yep, I'm another one that has generally only had good experiences of CBP in the US, funnily enough also with the exception of MIA but that was more of an incompetence issue rather than the agent being abrasive. I lived in the US for a couple of years and almost always got a "welcome home" from them. I now have GE so have much less interaction but when I do, it's generally professional and courteous. By comparison, UK Border's default position seems to be officious.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 7:32 am
  #347  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Have used two more eGates abroad and passport works fine.

Kind of sick of being treated this way in the UK to be honest; has added significant delay to a number of my trips.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 1:47 pm
  #348  
 
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Boy this thread has exploded into life!

Those with multi-page memories will remember I went insane because of this issue and got an Aussie passport. First time out with it FLR-LCY and you can imagine EXACTLY what happened, right? First the UK passport in the hope of a "jinx". Then the AU one, knowing what would happen.Possible factor: a dodgy Movember. Factor to consider? I just can't work the gates. The good news? I am equipped to go to Oz. VERY bored with this.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 2:25 pm
  #349  
 
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Originally Posted by RG1X View Post
Have used two more eGates abroad and passport works fine.

Kind of sick of being treated this way in the UK to be honest; has added significant delay to a number of my trips.
Same situation here. Most other countries use the <<<<>>>>> info on your passport page to identify you whereas UKBF e-gates go by the embedded microchip as primary ID method for GBR passports. I'd go as far to suggest anyone unable to use the 'technology' because UK Border doesn't allow you do so due to their own inabilities is getting poor value for their GBR passport. If I was woke enough or could to be bothered to pursue it, I'd even go as far as to suggest its a form of discrimination and I'd be looking for money back on the costs involved to have the document. Having everything pitched towards e-gates in order to make the process quicker and that are effectively out of bounds because UKBF lack of ability abilities identify me successfully electronically makes the cost of holding a GBR passport poor value for money.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 3:20 pm
  #350  
 
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Great thread, though it's of little comfort I seem to be part of the not-so-small group of people finding themselves now mostly unable to use the e-gates. It's definitely not technique in my case - my tatty old but much-loved EU passport had a 100% success record in the e-gates travelling every 2-3 weeks until Christmas 2021, at which point I knackered my ankle so didn't travel again until March 2022. During that time, I renewed my passport and of course received one of the new post-Brexit black ones. I've attempted to use the e-gates 15 times since then and they've only worked twice - once at STN and once at LGW. Never at LHR T5 and also not on the one occasion I flew into GLA. Extremely frustrating though thankfully I've never had to wait long at the manual desk. On my most recent arrival at LHR T5, I quipped to the very friendly officer that there must be a problem with the document and she ran it again with a smile and said no, the chip was fine, and hopefully it'll be OK next time. So we'll see in a couple of weeks!
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Old Nov 24, 22, 3:20 pm
  #351  
 
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
Same situation here. Most other countries use the <<<<>>>>> info on your passport page to identify you whereas UKBF e-gates go by the embedded microchip as primary ID method for GBR passports. I'd go as far to suggest anyone unable to use the 'technology' because UK Border doesn't allow you do so due to their own inabilities is getting poor value for their GBR passport. If I was woke enough or could to be bothered to pursue it, I'd even go as far as to suggest its a form of discrimination and I'd be looking for money back on the costs involved to have the document. Having everything pitched towards e-gates in order to make the process quicker and that are effectively out of bounds because UKBF lack of ability abilities identify me successfully electronically makes the cost of holding a GBR passport poor value for money.
No, that's totally incorrect. The eGate reader looks at the biodata page with the MRZ and reads that and uses that to provide the person's details. That's the primary method for passport reading in the UK (and around the world) for eGates and manual readers.

It also reads the chip, looks at the ultraviolet image and a few other checks. It takes the photo from the chip as that's a more accurate picture than the photo on the biodata page which is only a low res digital image, to use for facial recognition. Again this is pretty much universal around the world with most countries using the chip for facial recognition. Some have fingerprints stored on there as well.

If the reader didn't use the MRZ and just used the chip then there would be no need to insert the passport in the method directed, since the chip is in the front cover.

I'm struggling to see how it could be discrimination. And the cost of a UK passport is not 100% based around the ability to identify someone electronically. It's a document that provides nationality data for the individual that enables that person to be able to travel to other countries using that document.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 3:41 pm
  #352  
 
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Originally Posted by Saladman View Post
No, that's totally incorrect.
Stand corrected thanks for the additional info.

Originally Posted by Saladman View Post
I'm struggling to see how it could be discrimination. And the cost of a UK passport is not 100% based around the ability to identify someone electronically. It's a document that provides nationality data for the individual that enables that person to be able to travel to other countries using that document.
I'm paying xxx to hold a GBR passport but cannot use the technology available when arriving at UK Airports because of my very common family name and the e-gates inability to successfully identify me. I've no other choice but to use a manned booth. See my post #320 further up with regards to this for clarity.

I challenge you to repeatedly explain yourself for 7 years to UK Border Force and non UK Border Force airport employees manning the queue for the UK Border when the machines repeatedly do not work for you when trying to get back into your country of residency and citizenship without beginning to take it personally.

How many times would you entertain the inadequate technology before giving up and writing it off as unfit for purpose just because of your family name when literally thousands of others go through daily without issue?

At what point would you begin to question whether more could be done to streamline the experience? Because I can tell you from where I queue a whole lot more CAN be done and UKBF are choosing not to acknowledge the flaws in their equipment or their vetting process.

The fact that UKBF refuse to formally acknowledge commonality of family name has anything to do with the issue pretty much tells me they know they've got a problem on their hands. But despite the fact a significant proportion of entry channels to the UK remain off limits to me, my passport remains the same price as to everyone elses who can use the channels.

What would you call it?
If not discrimination (which I'd still go as far to suggest it very much is), would you perhaps settle on it being just unlucky circumstances?

In addition on the inside cover of my passport it also states the following:

Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Apart from the obvious head of state gender change since my passport was issued I'd argue anyone being repeatedly referred from a UK Border e-gate is getting any such assistance but all of the hindrance.

I don't have an issue entering other countries as a visitor. My primary issue is entering own country when returning and this primarily happens at LHR T5 or LGW South Terminal. I've limited experience of T4 arrivals and suffered the same fate. I've no experience of e-gates in other terminals or Airports but dont hold confidence to say the experience would be any different.

It's poor effort from UKBF and poor value for money from HMPO from my perspective at the very least.
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Last edited by 1Aturnleft; Nov 24, 22 at 6:29 pm
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Old Nov 24, 22, 6:58 pm
  #353  
 
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For what it's worth, I know there's zero problem with the electronic chip on my passport... not only because it works perfectly in foreign readers, but because I've tested it manually myself.

I'm clearly on a list requiring additional checking, and it pisses me off. What's worse is that I can stand in front of a camera in the US and then waltz in with nothing more than a paper slip.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 1:44 am
  #354  
 
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It's not just UK passports either, my Australian passport is rejected by the UK eGates, but is accepted in every other country I've tried.

My conclusion from this is that either
1. the UK eGates have a major technical fault, or
2. they are working as programmed and the UK have my name/passport on some sort of 'enhanced screening' list to force me to see an officer.

Personally I think being on a list is unlikely because I've been sent to 'seek assistance' from an officer many times and most have just swiped me through with very little interest or scrutiny. There's been the occasional exception of a few extra questions, but if I was on a list I would expect to get that 'enhanced' experience more often than not. Edit: And also because there's absolutely no reason I would be on a watch list, I'm very clean (boring).. I've never even had a parking ticket!

Last edited by LondonAussie; Nov 25, 22 at 1:56 am
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Old Nov 25, 22, 2:03 am
  #355  
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Originally Posted by Saladman View Post
If the reader didn't use the MRZ and just used the chip then there would be no need to insert the passport in the method directed, since the chip is in the front cover.
Just to observe in passing that the chip is encrypted and the encryption key is the data in the MRZ. This is to stop people reading passport chips in passing or otherwise without the holder's consent. The MRZ must be read in order to open the chip.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 3:20 am
  #356  
 
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Originally Posted by LondonAussie View Post
It's not just UK passports either, my Australian passport is rejected by the UK eGates, but is accepted in every other country I've tried.

My conclusion from this is that either
1. the UK eGates have a major technical fault, or
2. they are working as programmed and the UK have my name/passport on some sort of 'enhanced screening' list to force me to see an officer.

Personally I think being on a list is unlikely because I've been sent to 'seek assistance' from an officer many times and most have just swiped me through with very little interest or scrutiny. There's been the occasional exception of a few extra questions, but if I was on a list I would expect to get that 'enhanced' experience more often than not. Edit: And also because there's absolutely no reason I would be on a watch list, I'm very clean (boring).. I've never even had a parking ticket!
1. Extremely unlikely as many thousands of people - in fact the vast majority - use the eGates every day without any problems at all.
2. It's possible. It could be that you may have a similar name (perhaps sometimes with a similar or very common date of birth) which triggers the gate.
3. There are also other reasons. Technique, damaged passport (though you have two so it's probably unlikely that both are damaged), changed facial appearance so that the match isn't good enough (again you have a newer second passport so unlikely to be the case).

If you're happy it's not 3. and it's clearly not 1, then it must be 2. Which is clearly frustrating. Personally I think that the pink shirts (maybe immigration policy) should make more effort not to force people such as you - where you know you'll fail - into the eGates and allow them to go straight to a desk.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 5:10 am
  #357  
 
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I always go straight to a desk now (20+ failed attempts is enough for anyone). If anyone tries to argue I just tell them I need to speak with an officer.
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