Passport never works at eGates?

Old Jul 1, 21, 4:37 pm
  #46  
 
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I was wondering if there is some facial recognition thing going on with mine. Mind you I've only used the eGate at LHR once (last week), but it took over a minute of spinning to send me away. The only reason I could really think of is that my beard is quite full on my passport, while last week I was sporting mostly scruff. Border force even cheerily commented that I had trimmed my beard.

The last three times I've gone through GE in US I don't even scan my passport - it just takes a picture and immediately prints out my receipt. This is with all kinds of facial hair.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 5:12 pm
  #47  
 
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I have a one year and a half old US passport and works perfectly in the eGates in LHR Never experienced any problems.

My wife has a Canadian passport and works fine with her too in LHR.
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Old Jul 1, 21, 9:10 pm
  #48  
 
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My main passport never works at Heathorw, the agents always say I should replace it as the chip is faulty but it has my US visa in and cant be bothered to carry two passports around

I miss the IRIS system, never felt more smug than when I would put my passport away when I boarded the plane and didnt get it out again until I was safely at home. Such a shame they went
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Old Jul 1, 21, 9:15 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
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.
Spot on. IRIS was brilliant. I still miss it.
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Old Jul 2, 21, 1:51 am
  #50  
 
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I wonder what would happen if I tried to use my Australian passport instead of my 2013 Jumbo UK passport, which fails 50% of the time at T5?
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Old Jul 2, 21, 8:37 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by 1P View Post
(a) You don't have to try the egates first. That is just little Hitlers flexing their muscles. You may enter the country by any means available to you.

(b) The reason some passports don't work is because the photo is not sufficiently like the current appearance of the holder. As we all know, the biometric recognition thing is a fake. Your expiry date is checked and your face is examined by a passport official in the control room, who typically has a number of gates to supervise at the same time, hence the variable delay in the gate opening up. If the operator can't match you to the photo, or is having a bad day, you get "seek assistance".
Correct. I had issues with my passport when first issued. I now press (reasonably) firmly on the side that has the PHOTO on it, thus ensuring there is no glare from the perspex and as clear an image as possible for the "man behind the curtain" matching images . It worked every time once I got the hang of it.
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Old Jul 2, 21, 9:25 am
  #52  
 
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IRIS was great and my problems started when E-gates came into use. I used to have this same issue.

A while back, I asked the Border Force officer why it never worked. First time he said “probably the chips faulty“ which I doubted. Anyway, asked another time and was told “Can’t discuss it with you for national security reasons”. I figured my name matched somebody of interest.

After that discussion, it worked fine and never had a problem since.
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Old Jul 2, 21, 3:26 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Mutu View Post
Correct. I had issues with my passport when first issued. I now press (reasonably) firmly on the side that has the PHOTO on it, thus ensuring there is no glare from the perspex and as clear an image as possible for the "man behind the curtain" matching images . It worked every time once I got the hang of it.
Right!

As I implied above but did not state explicitly, the chip has nothing to do with it whatsoever. It's actually not possible for the eGate camera to measure your biometrics with sufficient accuracy (and think of factors such as weight gain or loss, facial hair, etc). The system operates on facial recognition behind the scenes. Whenever people are told that the problem is with the chip, they should say "Nonsense. The problem is your people in the back room. We know how the system works."
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Old Jul 4, 21, 1:42 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by 1P View Post
Right!

The system operates on facial recognition behind the scenes. Whenever people are told that the problem is with the chip, they should say "Nonsense. The problem is your people in the back room. We know how the system works."
That's interesting.

I once said something like that (half joking) to an agent at T5, and he just smiled (rather sheepishly).

Well there you go...
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Old Jul 4, 21, 10:36 am
  #55  
 
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Yesterday at T5 was a complete lottery, with virtually all passports rejected. There was much frustration and an officer admitted the system had a few faults.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 2:06 am
  #56  
 
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Yesterday at T2, seemed like most were being rejected, mine has never worked in 2 1/2 years since new....... and lo & behold it actually worked!

Now the only thing that has changed is my other passport has expired...... wonder if there is a link there.
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Old Aug 9, 21, 10:35 am
  #57  
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Went through T5 again last night and this time I'd say only 5% of people were getting rejected by the eGates (compared to 30-40% on my last trip). Of course, mine got rejected. I'm sick and tired of this now so will fork out the 75 for a new one. Can I continue to use my current passport until the replacement arrives or will I have to order a replacement when I've got no immediate travel planned?
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Old Aug 9, 21, 11:29 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
Can I continue to use my current passport until the replacement arrives or will I have to order a replacement when I've got no immediate travel planned?
The online application process will tell you if you need to send your current one in. Usually you do.
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Old Aug 9, 21, 10:27 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
Can I continue to use my current passport until the replacement arrives or will I have to order a replacement when I've got no immediate travel planned?
You can continue to use the current one while your application is processed, but the new one won't usually be sent out by UKPA until they have received your old one. IIRC they don't ask for your old one until the new one is ready - I think I waited less than a week between sending my old one off and the new one arriving last time. Definitely an improvement on the old days where you'd have to be without a passport for the length of time it took to process the application.

I wouldn't assume a new passport will fix the problem though - Mr mustafina has a very common name, and his passports haven't worked at the UK e-gates for years, even when brand new. It annoys him every time. In the days when we could use EU e-gates, there was never an issue entering or leaving Schengen though. Flew straight through.
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Old Sep 4, 21, 11:06 am
  #60  
 
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I was amazed and delighted to find my 2016 passport being accepted at the e-gate for the first time since I had it, when I went through T5 two weeks ago. A few weeks earlier it had again been rejected. In fact everyone was going through the gates quickly. Perhaps they've done a "fix"
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