European ePassport gates - removing glasses?

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Old May 23, 19, 3:47 pm
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European ePassport gates - removing glasses?

Using an ePassport gate is one of the rare times during my life when I am forced to take off my glasses, and it can be a bit disorientating particularly when you are trying to squint to see what is on the screen.

Although when flying BA into T5 and T3 (and T2 and T4 for that matter) the machines force you to take off your glasses, I've noticed the ePassport machines at Schiphol work even when I keep them on. Similarly for the German ones.

Out of interest, does anyone know which machines at European airports in particular work *with* glasses on? I would rather not take them off if I could avoid it!
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Old May 23, 19, 3:53 pm
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Just leave you glasses on. It may take the agent a couple of extra seconds to confirm it's you, but they get there in the end. I always leave mine on.
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Old May 23, 19, 4:14 pm
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I always leave my glasses on at the e-gates I have used (T5, T2 and Hamburg) and have never had an issue. Sometimes it can be a bit slow and other times it is super quick. So I think you would be fine to leave yours on.
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Old May 23, 19, 4:58 pm
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Perhaps it depends on whether you have glasses in your passport photo? I donít, and when Iíve had glasses on at the e-gates it seemed to take forever, so now I just take them off ...
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Old May 23, 19, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by prof View Post
Perhaps it depends on whether you have glasses in your passport photo? I donít, and when Iíve had glasses on at the e-gates it seemed to take forever, so now I just take them off ...
ditto.
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Old May 23, 19, 5:37 pm
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The e-passport gates at LHR are manned by agents located a few meters away, who compare 3 pics: your passport; their passport database (if available eg UK passports) and the photo taken at the e-gate. They do not rely on biometrics at all. I go there with glasses and with headphones and itís never been an issue.
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Old May 23, 19, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Just leave you glasses on. It may take the agent a couple of extra seconds to confirm it's you, but they get there in the end. I always leave mine on.
Today i learned that ePassport gates are staffed remotely, I thought it was facial recognition.
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Old May 23, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Today i learned that ePassport gates are staffed remotely, I thought it was facial recognition.
Me too!
Explains why the e-gates are never all open at once as it's still manpower driven...
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Old May 24, 19, 1:32 am
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That's interesting, I had always thought e-gates would be based on facial recognition. No wonder it can be slow sometimes if they're looking at several at once.
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Old May 24, 19, 3:45 am
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It really depends on the eGates. Some use an algorithm. If the algorithm is uncertain, it gets thrown to the human to make the call.
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Old May 24, 19, 4:18 am
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They use facial recognition. Only in doubt the gates request the agent to manually approve or if not done within a certain timeframe, the gates will reject you and send you for a manual check.

Travelling through LHR on a German passport at least once a week, I strongly advise you to take your glasses off if you like to spare you the walk to an agent for manual review.

After 10 entries or so the gates will send you for a manual (random) check anyway.
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Old May 24, 19, 5:59 am
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They don't compare biometrics at all, and facial recognition is done by a human, not a machine. It's a complete con.

The e-passport gates at LHR are manned by agents located a few meters away, who compare 3 pics: your passport; their passport database (if available eg UK passports) and the photo taken at the e-gate. They do not rely on biometrics at all.
(post #6 above).

Each operator behind the scenes has a number of gates to operate (normally three). The operator decides if you look like you. If they don't, you end up seeing an agent.

Corollary: if there aren't enough operators available, the e-gates are not open.
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Old May 24, 19, 6:08 am
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I heard the new boarding gates use facial recognition but they seem to open regardless of if I am even looking at the camera area... so I guess they just check the boarding pass really.
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Old May 24, 19, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by IverTheCat View Post
Using an ePassport gate is one of the rare times during my life when I am forced to take off my glasses, and it can be a bit disorientating particularly when you are trying to squint to see what is on the screen.

Although when flying BA into T5 and T3 (and T2 and T4 for that matter) the machines force you to take off your glasses, I've noticed the ePassport machines at Schiphol work even when I keep them on. Similarly for the German ones.

Out of interest, does anyone know which machines at European airports in particular work *with* glasses on? I would rather not take them off if I could avoid it!
Strange, if they are human backed, that they ask you to remove the glasses. I suppose it's for large disfiguring glasses (like sun glasses).

I, likewise, cannot see much without mine on. I leave mine on at all airports, including Manchester in the UK. I think the last time I went through Heathrow I was reaching to take them off when the machine popped open anyway.
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Old May 24, 19, 11:53 am
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For what it’s worth, I don’t wear my glasses on my passport photos (for both my passports), I never take off my glasses in the e-gates, and I very rarely have problems. Indeed, they often open almost instantaneously. This is based on experiences primarily from LHR T2+5, CPH and FRA T1+2.

I don’t keep track, but I would guess that it’s only about 10% of all times that I have to wait more than a few seconds for the gate to recognise me. And less than half of those times that I need to go to the manual counter (I travel weekly, and I don’t think it’s happened more than twice over the past year.)
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