Member since 31 Dec 2017
Total posts 4
It is absurd that Australians with e-Passports cannot use Smartgates in the UK unless they pay Â£70 to get a single year's Registered Traveller enrolement. And even after acceptance you still have to queue so an officer can tell you that you can use the gate. Is there maybe some problem with UK e-passports not working in Australia and this is payback?
Member since 04 Dec 2013
Total posts 65
It's obscenely expensive and makes no sense that it only lasts for one year. But given the ridiculous queues you can encounter at LHR, sadly they can hold you to ransom.
Member since 18 Nov 2015
Total posts 104
It's definitely worth it. I'm doing lots of travel in and out of LHR, and I've never waited more than literally two minutes to get through. As you know the British like to queue and like to join the first available queue. So there might be 10 Smartgates open, and the first two or three have a queue, but if you walk up to gate 8, 9 or 10 there's no queue. The passport scan has always worked without fail and I'm through in literally two minutes max. What can take some time though is waiting for the luggage at the carousel. I've had it take up to 30 minutes in past.
Member since 09 Jul 2012
Total posts 19
Yes, it is absurd and expensive for what it is, but I'm gladly paying up just to use those e-gates and avoid face-to-face processing with U.K. immigration. My standard treatment on regular journeys to London seems to be passive/aggressive at best and (more usually) outright rudeness at worst. Every bit as bad as U.S. immigration (I.C.E.) and the T.S.A., in my experience! And many here would know just how appalling I.C.E. and T.S.A. can be.As a Australian passport-holder; 40+ years old; an academic/businessman with no criminal record; who is conservative in dress and courteous in speech (most especially when travelling) it makes me shudder to think what people from the 'wrong' countries and 'wrong' skin colours, with limited English language skills must go through everyday at the U.K. border entry. So pay up and think of the annual e-gate fee as a personal investment in your own peace of mind. You won't regret it. I promise.
Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
Member since 16 Oct 2017
Total posts 135
Actually TSA has improved hugely in the past few years. I find them, mostly, quite courteous. DFW and MSP almost without exception. LAX maybe less so.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 13 Jan 2015
Total posts 80
I find Melbourne to consistently have the rudest staff of all the airports i've traveled through
Member since 04 Apr 2014
Total posts 138
Actually, ICE doesn’t do immigration control. That’s CBP. If you come into contact with ICE you’re into an enforcement process, not good!
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 19 Jan 2018
Total posts 64
Originally Posted by ExLibris76
I appreciate the point which you are trying to make, but I really don't think it is appropriate to besmirch those people working as officers for the UK Border Agency or, indeed, the TSA or CBP as being racist or otherwise bigoted. It is, in my view, entirely unfair and unwarranted.
You might, in fact, notice that lot of those very staff come from ethnic minority groups themselves. So, I think your proposition falls at the first hurdle.
There can be no doubt that immigration officials, who are undoubtedly faced with a difficult and largely thankless job, are often stern, unfriendly or downright abrasive. However, I don't think we should go suggesting that they are motivated by racial prejudice. Sad.
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Absurd UK e-Passport Rules
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