Destinations, Travel News
Bearded Men Are Causing Delays At Airports Worldwide
By Kelsey Marie
If you’re heavily bearded and traveling soon, you’re going to want to read this.
According to a new study, the most common reason travelers are failing at border control security checkpoints when using ePassport gates is their beards — amongst other physical attributes.
Usually, having an electronically enabled passport speeds up the security checkpoint process because of facial recognition technology at the Smart Gates.
This process generally eliminates the need for travelers to interact with border control officials face-to-face.
The UK, Canada, and Australia are countries adapting this process — preferring it because of its quickness.
Unfortunately, this process hasn’t been running as smoothly as everyone thought it would.
Prior to going through the security checkpoint, travelers are asked to remove hats, glasses, and scarves.
What was not factored in are physicalities such as beards, facial piercings, plastic surgery, weight loss or weight gain — which is causing many travelers to fail the Smart Gate security check.
Conductor of the study, Nimesh Shah says “With the announcement that additional passengers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the U.S.A are now able to use the ePassport gates at UK airports, the waiting times for UK Passport gates looks only set to rise in the coming months.”
Shah also adds, “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. It’s crucial that passengers are as prepared as possible to avoid creating delays for their fellow flyers.”
Another factor causing delays for travelers going through Smart Gates is if they’ve been out partying the night before. Some passengers have reported failing ePassport checks after they’ve consumed a lot of alcohol the night before their flight.
The study concludes that factors such as your mood, physical condition, and alertness all play a role in whether or not you make it through the gate.
If you’ve gone through any physical changes it may just be wiser to scrap the ePassport gate altogether.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.