Janet Napolitano, boss of US Homeland Security, is making the Global Entry system - a quicker way through customs and border control - permanent. The voluntary scheme, for US residents, is currently being piloted at 20 airports. It allows pre-registered passengers to swerve long security lines and enter a booth, stick their …
April 1 already?
"Assuming all this works, the booth prints a receipt which can be shown to Customs officers on your way out."
Ha haa haaaa. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Please, please, please can we have a Singularity of Stupidity icon?
Manchester Aiport T2
I went though this at Terminal 2 at Manchester the other day. This is for UK citizens only, no pre-registration necessary. Out of the 6 machines, three were working. Even then half the time people's passports would not scan properly and they had to go a special desk set aside. There was also a member of staff dealing with machine issues. So 3 queues that were slower than normal ones, with 2 staff maintaining them. Not ideal. It also takes your photo on entry. Quite why I'm not sure. Given the FBI recently said face recognition isn't great, I doubt the machine can be comparing it against your passport - at least not effectively. Does this make it easier to get through rather than going via an official?
Singularity of Stupidity icon seconded
Now you think you're a first class citizen, then you are no longer because for an extra fee/by answering lots of questions and through (fallible but deemed infallible) biometrics you are "fast tracked". Next you'll have to pay extra, answer more questions, give up fingerprints+iris+dna+first born, and everybody can stand in line for the, er, "fast track", with random unluckies getting picked out for the full personal treatment.
Soon, the only class of citizen left is the one now called "convicted criminal". Carry on government.
"UK and US authorities are working on a similar scheme to fast-track entry to the UK"
The underside of a lorry from Calais?
"Assuming all this works, the booth prints a receipt which can be shown to Customs officers on your way out."
The task for the bad guy is to produce a fake copy of a printed receipt?
is that simular to the auto system that could not tell osmama apart for gorge w bush?
If many people pay for the privilege, isn't that good?
They can queue intot he longer and longer fast-track booths, while I can stay in the shorter and shorter bog-standard queues. Works for me.
Been using IRIS scanning for years now.
Rarely see a queue when coming into the UK.
Just wish they'd then fast track your luggage so you don't then need to hang around for ages in reclaim.
Been using finger print and full hand prints here in Israel for years.... about $30 once off get you the card and never stand in any lines except for the luggage...
Sigh as always superpower in weapons, squib with all else
onto the next pork barrel please
"It also takes your photo on entry. Quite why I'm not sure"
My understanding is that this is purely a "Gate-side" security measure. Everyone entering "Gate-side" has their picture taken and it is associated with their passport/boarding-card/whatever. Then, as they leave "Gate-side" their image is taken again and the two compared (usually manually). It makes sure the person who enters is the same as the person leaving.
Someone tried to explain this to me once. It was to do with preventing the following scenario.
Person A is a British citizen but is prevented from travelling to, say, Germany (maybe a football hooligan).
Person B is also a British citizen and can travel where they please.
Person A books a flight from Manchester to London.
Person B books a flight from Manchester to Berlin.
Both check-in and pass through security. They then meet up gate-side, swap boarding cards and person A can now travel to Berlin.
Except, with the new system, when person A gets to their gate, the staff scan the boarding card, pull up the picture taken when they came through security and the two pictures don't match.
I need to hack this
Then I can keep all the Yankees and Red Sox fans from returning and the US of good ol' A will be a better place.
I'm sorry to other nations for having to keep them, but as long as we have to put up with Simon Cowell for half the year, you are getting a solid bargain.
Stand by for "the evil terrorists" to start chopping off American citizens' hands just to get their fingerprints.
Last time I came into the UK...
One massive line for UK residents which took absolutely ages and six open but empty lines for non residents. Seems like we prefer to fast track everyone else apart from our own citizens.
Must watch what those citizens are up to...
re: pass swapping
to work, wouldn't that require the people have the same name? or am i being overly optimistic that the passes are actually checked?
@The Vociferous Time Waster
Ever thought about walking over to the empty non-resident desks instead? It's what I do in those situations, and I've never been turned away with my UK passport!! ;)
RE: Last time I came into the UK...
"One massive line for UK residents which took absolutely ages and six open but empty lines for non residents"
Yeah, I notice also that any other airport I go to seems to have a fast, short, single lane queue for residents and the foreigner queue is massive. Then in the UK the resident queue is massive and the non-resident one is tiny. It's a lose-lose situation.
The autoscanning machines in the UK also seem very hit and miss. I went through one in Stansted and I got rejected - they use the chips in passports and my passport was fairly new so they can't have much trouble scanning it. However my photo is a lot older than it should be in a new passport (it was the only one I had with me when I got it renewed). So I assumed it must be face/photo recognition that caused me to be rejected (most others were getting through). In Cardiff the machines were all barried off and not being used but they didn't look like brand new installs that were yet to be activated.
@ last time I came into the UK
Just think of it as Gordo's way of trying to keep undesirables out of the UK.
You see, UK residents are likely to be voters, and would therefore be likely to vote _against_ NuLab in the next election, and so are undesirables.
Simple when you think about it, really.
Just before the next election a kind benefactor will send mailings containing tickets for free overseas vacations to residents of safe Tory and LibDem seats... and then passport control will keep anyone who took the offer up out of the country until _after_ the election. And no, you don't get an absentee ballot.
I'm going, I'm going...
Answer to Dave Fox
Yes, about 1981.
One evening home to LAP, and the signs read 1) UK Passports , 2) European Union Passports and 3) other Passports. With 120 UK citizens in front of me queueing at 1) I saw the logic, I went straight to the EU desk.
The immigration officer said "You should have gone over there." I replied "This is a European Union passport." We repeated that cycle three or four times, then she gave me back my passport and I was through.
Next time I came through the second sign was a list of countries that were EU members - except the UK .
Less data required
Its reasonable for our government to know that you *are* a UK citizen. It is not right that it should record *which* UK citizen. Passport entry should only establish your right to move, and should be, by design, incapable of recording who is where.
@Dazed and Confused
Ain't that the truth.
I've been using the system coming back home into Melbourne for a few years now.
The system works well, is easy to understand (OK, some glitches the very first time) and you're out in a flash with a grin at the hordes queuing up.
The grin gets wider when I flew business class where your luggage gets priority treatment and is often rolling out the moment I get to the carousel.
Said grin dissipates really fast when I flew cattle class and I find I now have cool my heels with the same people I just avoided standing in queue with, to wait until some Union of Mangling Baggage drone is back from the tea-break.
Put up ridiculous barriers to quick entry, for "security reasons" then charge people extra to be fast tracked past them?
Nice little earner, sounds a bit like a protection racket to me.
Strictly, travel in the EU for EU citizens does not need a passport, only "ID" from a list of valid ID items e.g. driving licence.
Have your passport in the pocket ready, of course.
Kudos for trying
At least they're trying something else. Seems to me the "old system" has been defeated on any number of occasions, so why not try another approach? There are only a few criminals out of the tens or hundreds of millions of passengers, so it is quite a needle-in-the-haystack problem. Can't blame them for trying.
Last time I came home
It worked quite well.
So did LAX, so did Brisbane.
@ Kudos For Trying
Yes, we can blame them for trying. Most of us don't want our lives interrupted while they look for these needles in haystacks. This effort is not the solution, it is rather an acceptance they're causing a problem and a refusal to just do away with their measures.
Security doesn't revolve around checkpoints, you can't totally block travelers despite trying they'll just find another means of entry, false ID, a dodgy reason for entry, etc.
The question is one of what price we pay for our freedoms. It'd certainly be "safer" if we were all just kept in cages.
The photo system for mixed departure areas.
The photo issue mentioned earlier is in place at Getwick North terminal to avoid the following:
1. Passenger 1 in transit From foreign country A, flying onto foriegn country B.
2. Passenger 2 books a UK flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh.
If these passengers swap bording cards in the departures area, then passenger 1 could enter the UK without going through UK immigration. Comparing photos detects this.
Non-EU Passport holder
I am an Australian citizen. On arrival in Dublin on a flight from Manchester, I found that of the five or six plane-loads of passengers waiting to go through customs, I was the ONLY person qualified to use the 'Non-EU Passport holders' lane in customs.
The very bored, but very friendly, Irish Customs official looked quite surprised to see me, and was expecting to have to turn me back, as he assumed I was an EU-Passport holding idiot who had gone to the wrong place; he was very happy to have something to do to relieve his boredom.
I have never passed through a busy airport at peak hour so fast; Judging by the length of the queues in the arrivals hall, my fellow passengers were still lining up to get into the country when I had driven into the city, checked in to my hotel, and was sitting in a pub drinking a pint Guinness.
UK has had iris recognition on entry for about 4 years now at the major airports. It costs nothing, rarely has a queue and works fine. Faster and better than that ridiculous scanning thing for these near-field contactless (so why scan???) passports. Tried that at Gatwick last week - will go back to good old iris recognition.
@The photo system for mixed departure areas
Of course, this would be why the rest of the world generally has segregated international and domestic terminals so the situation cannot arise. The good side of this is that you no longer need to be inspected detected rejected and so on and so forth just to fly internally. Makes Domestic travel much more attractive - having encountered the delights of internal security in the UK now, I'd rather drive.
I mean seriously, who the hell does pat down searches of every flyer on a puddlejump airline. Your airports spend enough money on security, surely they can buy a couple of wands for use by the staff.
"....who the hell does pat down searches of every flyer on a puddlejump airline."
American 11: Boston to LA - Domestic.
United 175: Boston to LA - Domestic.
American 77: Dulles to LA - Domestic.
United 93: Newark to SF - Domestic.
So the answer to that question is: Anyone who doesn't want to get their piss-poor internal flight security arrangements shown in graphic detail live on global TV.
Fast track entry
Oh you mean claiming your an asylum seeker because the Taliban are trying to kill you, and you just happen to have a copy of the police report you filed before you left with your wife and children.
AC because this is not a scenario chosen at random.
Erm, two things.
#1, name four other incidents off the top of your head where hijackers have attempted to take a plane in NA domestic travel. I can think of maybe two since the 70s when they introduced x-ray machines.
#2, did you notice the word 'wand' above? You know, the hand held metal detector used in place of physically invasive searches for identifying things the walk through gates may have pinged on. Damn site faster and less offensive than a pat search.
Key point is for a domestic flight, any traveller is within your borders, so there is no reason for photos and biometric records etc - it should be just like taking a bus or a train.