Australians can now fast-track through UK airports

An e-Passport is your ticket to faster processing on British soil.

Australians rejoice! The days of shuffling through 3-hour lines at customs in the United Kingdom may be over.

Overnight, the British High Commission announced that electronic passport gates are now accessible to Australians carrying electronically enabled passports.

The move follows on from a Budget announcement late last year that the UK would make the ePassport gates available to visitors from a number of countries.

In addition to Australia, other countries are set to benefit, including:

  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • United States of America
  • Japan

The e-Passport gates at the major UK airports will be opened up to include the countries mentioned above, along with existing European Economic Area (EEA) nationals.

How will the UK e-Passport fast track work?

Travellers from approved countries will be able to speed up the arrival process by using facial recognition technology available at the e-Passport gates. This will eliminate the in-person contact with Immigration officials, saving both time and money.

And it’s not just air travellers who will benefit – those arriving by rail can enjoy fast-tracked processing, too. Along with 22 airports in the UK, e-Passport gates operate at ports including the Eurotunnel and international rail terminals.

The UK is also exploring eliminating the use of arrival cards to further streamline entry. This is expected to eliminate bottlenecks at heavier ports of entry such as the major ferry ports such as Harwich, the Eurotunnel, Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Stanstead, along with Scottish airports Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Will you be testing out the e-passport gates at UK arrivals? Let us know in the comments!

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