What are eGates, who can use them and which airports have already implemented them?

The global increase in air travel has led to the implementation of improved immigration control systems in airports all across the world. The intended effects, that is, higher security levels and greater efficiency when it comes to handling passengers, are achieved by means of the combination of fingerprint scanning, facial recognition technology and human work. This way, queues and waiting times at the security checkpoints are meant to be considerably reduced, while safety remains a crucial target. However, it must be noted that, although eGates can be found in many airports already, they are still being trialed in some of them, there is still room for improvement and not everyone know the requirements to be eligible to go through an eGate either upon arrival or before departure, which in turn are frequently specific to each country.

Who can go through the eGates at the airport?

As a general rule, you must be 18 or older to have your face or fingerprint scanned at the eGate of an airport security checkpoint, or else be a minor (aged 10/12 to 18) accompanied by an adult. Notwithstanding that, there is an even more important requirement: to be in possession of an electronic or biometric passport, which integrates a chip with your photo that will be checked against your scanned facial features; this part of the process will make it virtually impossible for anyone to impersonate you or cheat the system.

Citizens and permanent residents of each country are the first ones to be registered and allowed to use eGates as long as they are eligible, but many airports are gradually making the service available to other nationalities. Before you travel, visit the website of your destination airport and check whether you will be admitted through the automated border control since, oftentimes, even if you have a biometric passport, you won’t be allowed to use it if the two countries do not have an agreement.

How do eGates work?

First and foremost, if you will be using the eGates upon arrival on an overseas destination, make sure you carry with you any required visa or permit that you may be asked for as a foreign visitor; either the system itself or an airport agent will check that you have them and otherwise you can be denied entry. The whole process should take you just between twenty seconds and a couple of minutes at most.

Have your electronic ID document or biometric passport ready, as you will need to hold it up to the reader or scanner so that the first gate opens for you. Once inside, the gate will close and you won’t be able to proceed until your face or fingerprint is scanned and checked against the information the system has about you. Also, know that this information will be saved and updated each time you go through security at an airport using this method. When you are identified and everything is ok, the second gate opens and you can proceed to the boarding concourse.

While trials are carried out, this process might vary from one airport to another and, even more likely, from one country to another. In some cases facial recognition will suffice, while other times fingerprints or questions from an agent will be part of it too.

Have you already got everything sorted out for your trip? If you need to find a place to stay when you arrive to your next destination, you can still find and book accommodation according to your travel budget, needs and interests.

Which airports across the world have eGates?

The denomination of automated border control systems across the world varies, yet the process does not change. Thus, be aware that eGates in Germany, for instance, may be referred to as EasyPass, and airport agents in Prague might guide you to go through the EasyGo checkpoints before boarding your plane. In France, they are called the PARAFE gates, and SmartGates in the United Arab Emirates. The renowned Global Entry program in the USA incorporates the eGates in their Global Entry kiosks, present in more than fifty four US airports, while the Smart Entry Service is the equivalent in Korean airports.

Some of the main international aviation hubs that have already implemented eGates are Rome Fiumicino International and Milano Malpensa airport in Italy; Copenhagen Kastrup in Denmark; Prague airport in the Czech Republic; Brussels airport in Belgium; Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airport in Australia; Munich and Frankfurt in Germany; Paris Orly, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Lyon airport in France; Budapest in Hungary, Dublin airport (in both terminals) in Ireland; Lisboa and Faro airport in Portugal; Oslo Gardermoen in Norway; Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza airport in Spain; Hong Kong International airport; Narita airport in Japan; Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand, plus thirteen airports in the UK (including Heathrow) and over fifty in the United States.


International airports with shower facilities

Most travellers are familiar with the feeling of waiting at the airport during a layover between flights: being away from home, you always wish you could rest properly, eat better and refresh adequately. As a matter of fact, you surely have had a really tough day using public transportation with all your bags, carrying them to the check-in counter, sitting inside a plane for hours and running across an entire terminal to find your gate, so what could be better than having the chance to refresh before boarding your next plane?

With passengers of long-haul flights who need to make one or several stopovers in mind, international airports across the world are implementing shower facilities (complimentary in some cases and requiring the payment of a fee in others) for travellers to use without the need for purchasing a lounge pass or making a hotel reservation.

When planning for your trip, it is advisable that you know beforehand which airports have showers, its specific location in the terminals and whether they can be used free of charge or not. This way, it will be easier to organise your time between landing and departure and save money. Below, we have gathered useful information about some of the main hub airports where you can take a shower across the world.

Showers in Frankfurt airport, Germany

Frankfurt International airport provides five different shower facilities across Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, which you can head to upon arrival in the A, B and Z areas of T1 (levels 2 and 3), and the D area of T2. They remain open and functional from 6:00 to 23:00 Monday through Sunday. In order to be granted access to this service, you must pay a nominal fee of 6 €, which entitles you to use a towel, body and hair toiletries and a hair dryer.

Taking a shower in Munich International airport

When passing through MUC, you will find showers available both at the Airport Center and in the public area of T2. Travellers who want to use the showers in Munich airport (Germany) are required to pay 15€ plus a refundable deposit; towels as well as body and hair products are provided.

Showers in Narita International airport of Japan

On a long trip to Tokyo, you will probably want to live the experience of showering in Narita airport of Japan. There are shower facilities before and after the security filters, they stay open until 21:00 and are fully equipped with body and face towels, shampoo, shower gel and hair products. 30 minutes in a Narita airport shower cost 1,540 JPY (12€ approximately). This service can only be booked once you are at the passenger terminals and not in advance.

Complimentary airport showers in DXB

Having a layover in Dubai? Passengers of long-haul flights making a connection in DXB can refresh and feel revitalised in the free showers of Dubai International airport, which are conveniently situated in the boarding area of terminal 3 for travellers in transit to use at no cost. Thus, this service has 6 female units and 6 male units next to gates A, 1 female unit and 2 male units by gates B and other two near the C gates.

Showering in Sydney International airport

Also for arriving and departing passengers, there are complimentary showers in the terminals of Sydney airport (Australia) located by the check-in counters and next to the gates after security respectively. In this case, take into account that you will need to provide your own shower products and towel, so we recommend that you have them handy at the time of using these free facilities.

The detailed above are just some examples but, as the number of people travelling internationally for business and leisure increases, and in view of the fact that layovers and stopovers are no longer necessarily made in major hubs, we hope the network of airports offering showers to travellers in transit keeps growing.

Free showers in Seoul Incheon airport

Passengers in transit at Incheon International airport of South Korea may use the shower facilities located in the Duty Free area of Terminal 2 at no charge. This restricted zone is on the fourth floor of the terminal building, and the shower rooms are conveniently distributed on both ends, some being next to Gate 231 and another group next to Gate 268.

Will you travel soon? Let us help you find the perfect accommodation.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel