Passport never works at eGates?

Old Jun 30, 21, 2:34 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ChemicalWoody View Post
Could I ask, were you sent from the e-gates back to the main manual queue? That’s quite a big change if so.

There used to be a set of 2-3 desks next to the e-gates specifically set aside for rejects. Not sure there was enough space there for a queue of 90 mins though.

I have the same thing - Border Force told me I have a name shared by someone they are looking for.
No, there was still a "rejects" line with 3-4 dedicated desks but they.extended the line into the main hall as it was so long. I'd say c. 30-40% of eGate users were getting rejected. All rejects were having PLF's and negative tests scrutinised so it took time to process each person. I overheard a number of people who seemingly hadn't booked their day 2/day 8 tests but it seemed the officers didn't really care and just asked them to book them asap ...
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Old Jun 30, 21, 3:53 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
No, there was still a "rejects" line with 3-4 dedicated desks but they.extended the line into the main hall as it was so long. I'd say c. 30-40% of eGate users were getting rejected. All rejects were having PLF's and negative tests scrutinised so it took time to process each person. I overheard a number of people who seemingly hadn't booked their day 2/day 8 tests but it seemed the officers didn't really care and just asked them to book them asap ...
Interesting - yes, Id say it was at least a quarter getting rejected last year too.
Raises the question of which queue to go for for those who know theyll be rejected if queues are long - the manual or e-gates? (If its the same as before you cant really get straight to Option 3 - the reject gates until youre already at the front of the e-gates queue)
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Old Jul 1, 21, 12:12 am
  #33  
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During my last encounter with the T5 e-gates last December, 2 out of 3 people were getting rejected. Was kind of hoping things would have got better for my next trip home.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 2:19 am
  #34  
 
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Can only add to the sentiments here... I'm on my 4th biometric passport and I've never had one, not a single one that works at the e-gates in the UK. No matter what airport, I've been through 6 airports with international arrivals (LHR, LGW, MAN, CWL, BHX, EDI) and e-gates have never, ever worked.

It's so frustrating when you're pushed into the line for them, I once had an argument with a member of staff saying I didn't want to use the e-gate lane as I knew it wouldn't work, but was forced into it despite my protests and hey presto, didn't work and had to be redirected.

On the contrary I've used my biometric passports at e-gates for entering CDG, FRA, SIN, HKG, SEA, YYZ and many other foreign countries... and they've always worked first time
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Old Jul 1, 21, 2:35 am
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2016 UK biometric passport holder here also. Never works at e-gates.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by seattle29 View Post
Can only add to the sentiments here... I'm on my 4th biometric passport and I've never had one, not a single one that works at the e-gates in the UK. No matter what airport, I've been through 6 airports with international arrivals (LHR, LGW, MAN, CWL, BHX, EDI) and e-gates have never, ever worked.

It's so frustrating when you're pushed into the line for them, I once had an argument with a member of staff saying I didn't want to use the e-gate lane as I knew it wouldn't work, but was forced into it despite my protests and hey presto, didn't work and had to be redirected.

On the contrary I've used my biometric passports at e-gates for entering CDG, FRA, SIN, HKG, SEA, YYZ and many other foreign countries... and they've always worked first time
Yep same experience as this. It's clearly the name issue that others have had explained to them. But surely once you go through a manned desk they could whitelist the document. It's such a timewaster. They always make you go through the egates even though I know it will never work at our border
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Old Jul 1, 21, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I've been advised (after being told by a UKB official and having also raised the issue with my MP) that particularly common surnames such as mine will suffer with not being able to use the egates. No discount on a passport application either even though I can't use service.
Snap

Mine have never worked for the same given reason as above . I also escalated it without success
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Old Jul 1, 21, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by jsdickinson View Post
Yep same experience as this. It's clearly the name issue that others have had explained to them. But surely once you go through a manned desk they could whitelist the document. It's such a timewaster. They always make you go through the egates even though I know it will never work at our border
It's particularly strange because my first name is old Scottish Gaelic (very rare) and I took my wife's maiden surname, which is Thai, so my name is highly unusual. So the argument of common names not working on e-Gates doesn't add up.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by justin_krusty View Post
Same problem, works at every airport except LHR. I wish they had gone for the style that some countries use where the machine sucks in your passport to read it - that seems a lot more reliable.
I also have the same problem as others report here - however have also used an e-gate in an Australia airport that 'sucked' the passport in (more of a glass plate that recoiled into the machine). The problem with it though was that each time it sucked the passport in it would cause the photopage to ruffle up (unlike the old passports where the photopage was a bit thicker and tougher, the newer passport is a thin paper) so ended up having a LHR e-gate experience...

Fortunately it was a smaller Australian city and the early morning car rental wasn't open for another while yet anyway.

Originally Posted by seattle29 View Post
On the contrary I've used my biometric passports at e-gates for entering CDG, FRA, SIN, HKG, SEA, YYZ and many other foreign countries... and they've always worked first time
I have found there to be two types on e-gates in Singapore - the pinky purple and orange ones in SIN T1-3 work out, but have found the newer white ones at T4 and those at sea and land borders are less reliable.

Last edited by jbfield; Jul 1, 21 at 8:50 am
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Old Jul 1, 21, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's impossible to answer this without a proper examination of the passport, but the usual reason is technique.
Sounds like the OP's 'technique' is perfectly okay everywhere else, which would suggest it isn't the reason in this case.

I had a similar issue with a brand new 2017 extra-pages passport. From day one, it worked flawlessy in every e-gate except LHR because the thicker booklet and the alignment of the photo info close to the fold made it impossible to satisfy the machines. The UKBA staff at Heathrow kept telling me to get it replaced by HMPO as faulty, warning it could be deemed invalid (they had trouble using it in their own manual scanners, too). HMPO insisted there was nothing wrong with the passport. Caught between two agencies, I ended up forking about for a second new passport, which worked perfectly. It would help if Britain did the same as many other countries and put the important page on stronger paper; the current flimsy paper is not suitable for being shoved in and out of passport gates.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 1:29 pm
  #41  
 
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My passport does not work the LHR e-gates. I always ask the person at the desk why and I got a different answer every time (being robbed off?) until one of them told me what I believe to be the real reason - my name is very similar to someone who is wanted and until that person is caught my passport wont work the e-gates.

This was only a minor inconvenience pre-Covid but I suspect it might be very bad news for me in future if queues are longer.

sigh!
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Old Jul 1, 21, 2:25 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by ajamieson View Post
The UKBA staff at Heathrow kept telling me to get it replaced by HMPO as faulty, warning it could be deemed invalid (they had trouble using it in their own manual scanners, too).
If the Border Force were stuggling to get a full data screen from your passport they would normally advise you to get a replacement. They know they can't deny entrance to UK residents so this is a conversation about their end of the process rather than the traveller. I think the Passport Agency did used to replace dud chips in passports a few years back, they were supplied externally anyway with some sort of guarantee on them. But I think they won't do that now. Or rather they will when - as is sometimes the case there is a clear data error in the chip (e.g. massively wrong date of birth) - it's by exception and essentially where it suits the agency rather than the, well, customer.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by ajamieson View Post
Sounds like the OP's 'technique' is perfectly okay everywhere else, which would suggest it isn't the reason in this case.

I had a similar issue with a brand new 2017 extra-pages passport. From day one, it worked flawlessy in every e-gate except LHR because the thicker booklet and the alignment of the photo info close to the fold made it impossible to satisfy the machines. The UKBA staff at Heathrow kept telling me to get it replaced by HMPO as faulty, warning it could be deemed invalid (they had trouble using it in their own manual scanners, too). HMPO insisted there was nothing wrong with the passport. Caught between two agencies, I ended up forking about for a second new passport, which worked perfectly. It would help if Britain did the same as many other countries and put the important page on stronger paper; the current flimsy paper is not suitable for being shoved in and out of passport gates.
Can relate to your situation, also a 2017 extra pages passport. Dont keep exact count, but would say mine works at T5 eGates roughly 50% of the time. No issues at T2/3/4, albeit fewer data points in each than T5, but still a fair few (pre-pandemic). No problems in LGW or LCY machines (maybe they are different tech), Also had occasional issues at LTN.

Did also have some issues at T5 and LTN with the staff struggling in the manual scanner, but since the failures were intermittent, I have so far ignored any advice to get a new passport. The guy at LTN was very suspicious, even asked if I had any other ID. Never thought about the passport thickness being the potential problem. The picture page in this passport is definitely less robust than the previous one.

Rarely any issue in eGate machines in other countries, though again possibly different tech.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by vanmunchen View Post
I used to use those iris recognition scanners as well. They never worked either!
IRIS was definitely a marked step up in terms of user success over the current system. Once you mastered the correct stance ("Please look up a little, Please look down a little, Please step a little closer, Please step back a little) and you got the pause while the little red square around your face on the screen did it's thing, you knew the glass doors were about to part and you could be on your way.... with a thank you. The fact you actively had to register your biometrics before you could use the service probably had a lot to do with it. Registering with IRIS was the best 30 minutes I ever spent at Heathrow Terminal 1 during a delay. It was a very sad day when the system was dispanded. It actually worked.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
If the Border Force were stuggling to get a full data screen from your passport they would normally advise you to get a replacement. They know they can't deny entrance to UK residents so this is a conversation about their end of the process rather than the traveller. I think the Passport Agency did used to replace dud chips in passports a few years back, they were supplied externally anyway with some sort of guarantee on them. But I think they won't do that now. Or rather they will when - as is sometimes the case there is a clear data error in the chip (e.g. massively wrong date of birth) - it's by exception and essentially where it suits the agency rather than the, well, customer.
Were describing 2 different issues here.

I agree that for people whose passport works 50% of the time its a chip/ technique/ dud passport issue.

But Im sure the problem that affects more people is the duplicate name thing. They just dont know it.

Thats because Border Force at LHR are told to give a fake excuse like maybe your chip is faulty or just say that everything is fine and you should try it again next time.

At LCY they are far more candid and they admit its because they need to check your face against someone with the same name.

My wife has even seen someone elses face - who was clearly not me - pop up on the screen of the agent who processed me while she was waiting for me to get through. And yet they still denied it to me! At LHR I always tell them this is why it rejected, and they either deny it or say I wasnt supposed to have been told that.
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