Absurd UK e-Passport Rules

7 Discussions

rabbieb

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 £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?

Rufus1

Member since 04 Dec 2013

Total posts 64

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.

traveller99

Member since 18 Nov 2015

Total posts 88

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.

ExLibris76

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.

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 16 Oct 2017

Total posts 116

...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...


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.
I.C.E. are courteous to U.S. citizens, they maybe need to build on that for visitors I'll admit.

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Jan 2015

Total posts 74

I find Melbourne to consistently have the rudest staff of all the airports i've traveled through

aggie57

QF

Member since 04 Apr 2014

Total posts 118

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.

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!

Covvers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 64

...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."


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.

Last editedby Covvers at Jan 22, 2018, 08:13 PM.

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