Tue, 21 May, 2019
Good news for Aussie passport holders: No more queues at Heathrow!
Australians who travel to British airports are now able to skip the long immigration queues due to UK authorities giving the all clear to go through the ePassport gates.
The British High Commission announced that electronic passport gates are now available for Australians who carry electronically enabled passports.
The self-serve terminals, which are similar to the ones that are used at Australian airports, significantly speed up the processing of arriving travellers due to the use of facial recognition.
The facial recognition software matches the traveller with the image printed in their passport, which eliminates the need to come face-to-face with border officials.
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that the change offers Aussie travellers a “smooth” arrival into the UK.
“Our new global immigration and border system will improve security and fluidity for passengers coming to visit or work in the UK,” he said in a statement.
“Expanding the use of ePassport gates is a key part of this and allows us to improve passenger experience arriving in the UK while keeping our border secure.
“I’m delighted that Australian nationals will benefit from their use and have a smooth beginning to their visit to our country.”
The change is also applicable to eligible New Zealand nationals.
With Heathrow being the busiest airport in Europe and having 80 million passengers passing through it last year alone, anything that speeds up the arrival process is a good thing.