Christmas is a busy time of year for travel, with millions of people getting off around the globe to meet with friends and family, or to enjoy a winter holiday. In fact, according to a report by Travelodge, over half of the nation will be taking some time away from home over the Christmas holidays. For those travelling through airports at this busy time, any hold ups can be an added stress. However, it seems one everyday item could be slowing travellers down before they even board their flight.
It seems that passengers who wear glasses when passing through the airport could face a delay, particularly if they are not wearing them in their passport photo.
Traditionally, when passing through check-in, security and passport control, agents are tasked with checking identification and confirming that it matches the traveller.
However, many airports now use facial recognition and biometric technology at passport control and passing through security checkpoints to cut queues.
The technology works by taking an image of the travellers face at checkpoints and comparing it with images the system has already recorded, such as your passport photograph or any visa documents.
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If this is the case, it is recommended you remove them at any moment when your identity is being checked at the airport.
“To help speed up your exit time at your destination, many airports now use ePassport gates that use facial recognition to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in your passport. However, they are not error-free, with a number of people struggling to pass through if their face is obscured,” advises an expert from Contactlenses.co.uk.
“Be mindful when using the e-passport gates you may hold the other passengers up if your face isn’t recognised.
“One of the main causes of this is wearing glasses and hats which obscure your face.”
John Dreyer, Optometric Consultant at Contactlenses.co.uk, adds: “It’s always important to properly prepare before heading to the airport, as you don’t want to get in a stressful situation to start your holidays! Make sure you read-up on airport rules and regulations so you can get through security without any major issues. Generate helpful habits which let you pass through the airport with ease knowing that you have the right documents and are at the right place at the right time.”