Passport never works at eGates?

Old Sep 4, 21, 4:03 pm
  #61  
 
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That’s good to know. Mine has never worked at LHR, although it has no problem elsewhere. I’m off internationally for the first time in 21 months so here’s hoping!

Still won’t have enough points to retain Gold though. Sigh.
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Old Sep 6, 21, 2:45 am
  #62  
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So I went through T5 immigration again yesterday and, as always, got "Seek Assistance". Sadly if there was a "fix" it didn't work for me.

However, I had a really friendly & helpful officer. He said my passport chip is fine and my name is not causing any issues whatsoever. He said he thinks the reason is that "the 2016 passports were not bound very well" and my photo page "probably curls up" when I slot it in. Hmmm. 🤔 Whilst that may be true (my photo page seems too short and like it was bound too close to the spine) I did get through to the photograph stage at the eGate before the "Seek Assistance" message came up. Surely the camera wouldn't even start up if it was a passport issue? I am wondering if it's to do with my photo, but when I mentioned that he said "no, you still look the same" (!)

I'll be ordering a new passport after my next trip in a couple of weeks, although pretty annoying I have to pay for it given the officer basically admitted to me (perhaps inadvertently) that there seems to be a "known issue" with some 2016 passports. That said, as I have mentioned before, LHR and Stansted are the only airports globally I ever have issues at.
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Old Sep 6, 21, 8:59 am
  #63  
 
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I was stopped at T3 Immigration eGates with my "old" burgundy passport last week, where as my wife with her new navy passport sailed right through.
I was asked the usual questions by the nice officer and if I was double vaccinated and allowed on my way.

T3 was virtually empty so I didn't have to wait at all.
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Old Sep 6, 21, 10:53 am
  #64  
 
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Yesterday, my wife and I used the North terminal at Gatwick and we had no issues with speed of getting through, but again we had issues with the E gates and I was even locked in at one point! The officer quickly checked my passport and I wasnt asked for my Covid test or PLF.

In a couple of weeks time will be using terminal three and hope for an equally stress free experience.
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Old Sep 6, 21, 12:00 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by Schwann View Post
It could be a chip fault. Does it work in other UK airports?

There's an app you can download (ReadID) available for iPhone and Android, see if that picks up your chip. If it doesn't then it could be a fault, HMPO will (should) replace for free. Mine wasn't working in the gates and causing similar queueing issues and it was annoying me, got a free and very quick replacement.
Thanks for a really great tip! I have just come back from my second trip with my new blue passport and again my passport failed to work in the e-gates (even after trying two gates with three attempts in each). I was beginning to wonder if my passport was defective, but the ReadID app managed to extract the correct data, no problem at all. I have not used a non-T5 or non-LHR e-gate yet. So it sounds like either poor technique on my part (although I rarely had problems with my previous passport) or having a similar profile to someone they're looking for. Sigh. Will be interested to see what happens passing through T2 in October.
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Old Sep 6, 21, 12:13 pm
  #66  
 
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I had a faulty chip in a passport about 4 years ago, every UK Border Force officer agreed it was broken and it didn't register on their machines, every foreign immigration desk inspected it like it was a forgery as it obviously didn't work on their machines either. Took ages on some occasions.

Advised to return it and get it replaced. Manufacturer sent it back and said it's fine, give us 90 quid if you want a new one. UK BF didn't want to get involved so no choice but to shell out again. Awful company to deal with.
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Old Sep 7, 21, 10:14 am
  #67  
 
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Mine never works at eGates at Heathrow specifically. I always go straight to officer line. That'll be interesting to navigate next time... 😬
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Old Nov 10, 21, 10:23 am
  #68  
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Now that I have a big gap before my next trip I've finally got round to doing my application and have posted off my current passport today (last 4-5 times through LHR it was "seek assistance" every single time at eGates and every officer told me the chip is fine and my name was not flagged so they've no idea why it isn't working). Keeping my fingers crossed that a new passport will do the job although slightly worried it won't make any difference. Anyone have any experience of the current wait times?
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Old Nov 10, 21, 10:24 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by mmxbreaks View Post
Mine never works at eGates at Heathrow specifically. I always go straight to officer line. That'll be interesting to navigate next time... 😬
At T5 yesterday they refused to let me go straight to an officer and insisted I try the eGate even though I knew with near 100% confidence it wouldn't work. Needless to say ... didn't work.
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Old Nov 10, 21, 11:29 am
  #70  
 
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Several years ago, when I was flying a couple of times a week, my passport never worked at the LHR machines. One night I moaned to the chap manually checking my passport and he said I probably shouldnt say this, but your name is quite similar to someone of, erm, interest to us. I didnt tell you this but write to the passport office and explain your issue.

I did write to them, and they denied all knowledge of there being a problem, but ever since that day, my passport has worked fine in the automatic gates. Could be a coincidence.
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Old Nov 10, 21, 12:07 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by Tredders View Post
Several years ago, when I was flying a couple of times a week, my passport never worked at the LHR machines. One night I moaned to the chap manually checking my passport and he said I probably shouldnt say this, but your name is quite similar to someone of, erm, interest to us. I didnt tell you this but write to the passport office and explain your issue.

I did write to them, and they denied all knowledge of there being a problem, but ever since that day, my passport has worked fine in the automatic gates. Could be a coincidence.
I had a similar issue when flying to the US years ago. I would always be sent to secondary after landing at US airport. I once asked the officer why this kept on happening and if there was a flag against name. He said no but ever since then Ive never had an issue and has since successfully applied for GE and PreCheck.
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Old Nov 10, 21, 12:09 pm
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
Now that I have a big gap before my next trip I've finally got round to doing my application and have posted off my current passport today (last 4-5 times through LHR it was "seek assistance" every single time at eGates and every officer told me the chip is fine and my name was not flagged so they've no idea why it isn't working). Keeping my fingers crossed that a new passport will do the job although slightly worried it won't make any difference. Anyone have any experience of the current wait times?
Just spotted this thread. I had the exact same issue with a 2016 vintage passport that flatly refused to work at Heathrow, but which was generally fine at all other airports and also worked when the immigration officer at LHR scanned it. When I asked, I was told there was nothing about my name or my travel history that was causing the problem, the chip was fine, but that there was a known manufacturing issue with passports from around that time. In the end the photo page started to fray at the non-laminated point near the spine and the passport had to be replaced. I now keep my passport in a dedicated wallet, rather than my jeans back pocket, hopefully this one will last longer, at least until it fills up with stamps from EU countries!
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Old Nov 10, 21, 1:09 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by simonkenyon View Post
Just spotted this thread. I had the exact same issue with a 2016 vintage passport that flatly refused to work at Heathrow, but which was generally fine at all other airports and also worked when the immigration officer at LHR scanned it. When I asked, I was told there was nothing about my name or my travel history that was causing the problem, the chip was fine, but that there was a known manufacturing issue with passports from around that time. In the end the photo page started to fray at the non-laminated point near the spine and the passport had to be replaced. I now keep my passport in a dedicated wallet, rather than my jeans back pocket, hopefully this one will last longer, at least until it fills up with stamps from EU countries!
Thanks for this. I'm 100% convinced it's a batch issue with certain 2016 passports and mine has had the EXACT same issue as you describe.
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Old Nov 10, 21, 2:27 pm
  #74  
 
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I have the same problem with my passport. Works everywhere except UK e-gates. Border agent checked it and said something about retrieving the image or something and told me what to tell UKPO to get a replacement but since I now travel everywhere with assistance and bypass the e-gates I've not bothered. Issued in Nov 2016 using the 4-hour service so maybe they messed some of them up.
If I had to go back to not using assistance I would definitely get it replaced as I've experienced the e-gate queue followed by inevitable 2nd wait for an agent.
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Old Nov 10, 21, 3:43 pm
  #75  
 
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A lot of the time it is to do with technique rather than the passport itself. I see loads of people who are ridiculously impatient and don't stand at the right bit, don't do the photo bit properly and then flounce off going 'these things never work for me'!

The system only needs a 48% facial match. It helps to move your face slightly and rotate it a little bit.
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