Travel TechnologyBe warned: An eGate might not recognise your body piercing.

Dump the beard, man, or be whiskered away

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Beards, body piercings, even hangovers, may cause problems at ePassport gates. Photo Credit: KGBob0/GettyImages

New research compiled by UK retailer, Feel Good Contacts, has shown that eGates around the world are rejecting holidaymakers due to a variety of cosmetic factors, including hipster beards, facial piercings, plastic surgery and even weight gain or loss, and hangovers.

Singapore tourists visiting the UK have been warned to watch their appearance.

That beard or nose piercing might be hip, but if doesn’t pass facial recognition technology at an e-Gate, be prepared to turn around for a chat with a Border Force officer.

New research compiled by UK retailer, Feel Good Contacts, has shown that eGates around the world are rejecting holidaymakers due to a variety of cosmetic factors, including hipster beards, facial piercings, plastic surgery and even weight gain or loss, and hangovers.

Earlier this year, Singapore was announced to be one of seven new countries allowed to use ePassport gates at immigration control in the UK.

Contact lens retailer Feel Good Contacts said other factors such as mood, alertness and ‘physical condition’ can play a factor in the success or failure of making it through the gate according to findings by Matt Lewis, research director at cybersecurity and risk mitigation expert, NCC Group.

Some passengers have even reported failing ePassport checks after a few too many beers the night before a flight.

Nimesh Shah, managing director at Feel Good Contacts, said, “With the announcement that additional passengers from Singapore, the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea are now able to use the ePassport gates at UK airports, the waiting times for UK ePassport gates looks only set to rise in the coming months.

“If you’re stuck in a long queue after a long flight at the ePassport gate check, be mindful about your strategy when it comes to choosing a line - you may want to avoid the hipster beard if you want a swift passage through after a long flight.”


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