Getting an "X" at US APC Kiosks

Old Jun 10, 16, 8:44 am
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Getting an "X" at US APC Kiosks

Since the introduction of the immigration kiosks in many US airports, I have received an "X" and had to present myself for processing by a human CBP officer 100% of the time. They won't tell me why, so I'm looking for some educated guesses about it, and possible solutions, from the fine FlyerTalk folk here.

Here's some more information:
  • My first last names (see below) are hyphenated, but since airline systems don't recognize the hyphen, I have my two last names run together on my BP, so "GLAXO-SMITH" is GLAXOSMITH on my BP.
  • My last name is also a novel. My legal last name includes seven components, not all of which fit on my passport; those which do fit are not fully on my BP, either, for obvious reasons of space. It's similar to: Glaxo-Smith de Klein y Thompson Reuters. The State Department shortened it on my passport to "Glaxo-Smith de Klein Y T R."
  • I have a beard now, but passport photo is clean-shaven.

I can't think of any other reason that this is happening, but if any of you have ideas I'd love to hear them. Obviously, if one of the above is the reason, then my only options are:

1. Suck it up and deal with it.
2. Change my name legally.
3. Shave.
4. Get Global Entry (which presents its own challenge given the last name issue above, as I experienced during my first application).

Thanks!

Last edited by zpaul; Jun 10, 16 at 9:29 am
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Old Jun 10, 16, 9:02 am
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Moving to the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues forum for further discussion. /JY1024, TravelBuzz co-moderator
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Old Jun 10, 16, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by JY1024 View Post
Moving to the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues forum for further discussion. /JY1024, TravelBuzz co-moderator
Thanks as always! Wasn't sure where this went, I don't often leave the airline forums...
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Old Jun 10, 16, 9:57 am
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I always get it, too. In my case, I know why. I have very faint fingerprints. When I renewed my Global Entry, the agent tried multiple times to get strong fingerprints with no success. I was approved but he told me I would always get an X on using the kiosks.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I always get it, too. In my case, I know why. I have very faint fingerprints. When I renewed my Global Entry, the agent tried multiple times to get strong fingerprints with no success. I was approved but he told me I would always get an X on using the kiosks.
Wow...that never would have occurred to me. Unfortunately, everything is fingerprint-based here (banking, health care, etc.) so I'm pretty sure mine are alright. Glad I'm not alone in the "X" line, though!
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Old Jun 10, 16, 11:10 am
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I can say I don't think it's the beard. My passport photo is beardless and from 2008, have entered dozens of times in the past year with my current full beard. No "X" for me.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 11:19 am
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If it's the fingerprints, 1) a good agent will tell you so and 2) you can actually watch it happen on the screen.

A friend kept having fingerprint problems, but finally got it worked out. I watched her last time. She greases up her fingertips, then uses one hand to press each finger on the other hand down hard until she gets the 'OK' for that finger. Cumbersome, but it works.

I wish they kept wipes nearby. I've hit a couple screens that were pretty greased up.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 11:53 am
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I don't think the OP is talking about GE, just the automated passport kiosks where you still have to stop and let Immigration take a quick look at your passport and maybe ask a question or two. No fingerprints in this case.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 12:15 pm
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It's not fingerprints because you don't have GE. It's also unlikely anything to do with a watchlist because you aren't having secondary issues.

This is almost certainly a name match issue. Anecdotally, the entire system is paying much closer attention to the match from Passport to ticket and name associated with KTN (if you have that).

Go ahead an apply for GE and apply using the name exactly, down to spaces and punctuation as it appears on your Passport. At the same time, use this occasion to change your FFP profiles and start booking tickets, exactly as your name appears on your Passport and will appear associated with your GE KTN. Even if your name is truncated on your BP, it won't matter.

This ought to eliminate what you are finding. Likely a flag calling for a CBP Officer to verify that the name submitted really is you.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by catocony View Post
I don't think the OP is talking about GE, just the automated passport kiosks where you still have to stop and let Immigration take a quick look at your passport and maybe ask a question or two. No fingerprints in this case.
There's no stopping and talking with the kiosks, either, in most cases - insert passport, answer the same questions that are on the landing card on-screen, it takes a picture of you, and you're off. But since I keep getting an "X", I have to go to another line, wait for agent to be available, and then go through the standard questions. I've seen people get through the kiosks faster than GE at times (only in DFW and MIA).
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Old Jun 10, 16, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by zpaul View Post
There's no stopping and talking with the kiosks, either, in most cases - insert passport, answer the same questions that are on the landing card on-screen, it takes a picture of you, and you're off. But since I keep getting an "X", I have to go to another line, wait for agent to be available, and then go through the standard questions. I've seen people get through the kiosks faster than GE at times (only in DFW and MIA).
You still have to show the slip and hand your passport to an Immigration officer before you pass through to baggage claim and Customs. It's not as involved as when you stand in line and fully processed by Immigration in person, but you still have to stop.

Global Entry is where you use the kiosk, get your slip and go directly to Customs.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It's not fingerprints because you don't have GE. It's also unlikely anything to do with a watchlist because you aren't having secondary issues.
Of APC kiosk users visiting the using again using the US VWP with a valid ESTA, fingerprints are still relevant to being admitted into the country. For US persons and Canadian citizens, fingerprints indeed don't generally matter unless using GE since the non-GE kiosks -- that is the APC kiosks -- don't demand fingerprints of such persons.

It's possible that the OP may be blacklisted in some way, whether or not the blacklisting was a deliberate outcome or a product of system handshake failures of sorts. Some blacklist hits don't involve the hit person being directed consistently/routinely/ever to a secondary.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 2:01 pm
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Try matching the passport name and the ticket name exactly and--- try getting a redress number (if you don't want to pay for GE) Redress MAY help you with a name issue.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by samosa View Post
Try matching the passport name and the ticket name exactly and--- try getting a redress number (if you don't want to pay for GE) Redress MAY help you with a name issue.
Thanks! Filed at the TRIP site to see what's going on.

I DO want to pay for GE, but they have denied me due to my documents not matching (see OP re: last names). I don't want to pay $120 (again) and get nothing for it, and they won't tell me up front. Maybe the Redress process will allow the GE process to go forward in the future.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 2:42 pm
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Maybe it would be easier to just change your full name to Eli Lilly Westlaw.

Good luck with the process.
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