Here’s a tip that could save you time at an airport: avoid standing behind the hipster at the ePassport line, because he might just hold you up. Here’s why...
A new study has looked into the reasons passengers are failing checks at ePassport gates at UK airports and beards and facial hair appear to be the most common culprit.
Compiled by retailer Feel Good Contacts, the study found that along with beards, facial piercings and weight loss or weight gain were also common causes of delays at e-gates.
Over the past 12 months, more than half a million passengers arriving into Britain have failed these tests, which amounts to almost 380 days over the course of a year.
And this number will likely only grow as travellers from more countries - such as the US and Australia - begin to use the automated gates.
“With the announcement that additional passengers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA are now able to use the ePassport gates at UK airports, the waiting times for ePassport gates looks only set to rise in the coming months,” Feel Good Contacts managing director Nimesh Shah said.
“It’s therefore crucial that passengers are as prepared as possible to avoid creating delays for their fellow fliers.
“Based on the figures from this research and the assumption that a failed check could cause up to a minute delay - though it could be more - this equates to an overall delay of ... just under 380 days per year. Who knew hipster beards would cause so much damage to our holidays?
“Facial recognition is no doubt one of the most important developments in airport security in recent years, but it’s important to remember that errors can still be made, particularly if a passenger’s passport photo is particularly old!”
According to Matt Lewis, a research director at cybersecurity and risk mitigation company, NCC Group, even factors such as mood, alertness, ‘physical conditions’ and hangovers can play a part in failing a test.
Have you ever failed an ePassport gate check? Why?
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