No more waiting in line at Passport Control!

Nothing is more annoying than having your boarding pass and passport in hand as you endlessly wait for the Passport Control Officer to give you the ‘Come, baby, come’ look that signifies that it’s finally your turn to step up and prepare to flee the country.

It is with no small amount of relief that we announce that – FINALLY – the Egyptian Airport Authorities have found space in their hearts to import the latest technology from the UK and are preparing to roll it out proper in our beloved matar. No longer will we waste decades waiting for Passport Officers and have to deal with their, frankly, highly unpredictable moods.

For the technologically challenged among us, E-Gates are basically machines that are set to replace humans (isn’t this the plot to the Terminator?). The innovative invention reads your passport, compares your fingerprint to the one on file, compares your face to your passport photo, and checks your passport’s validity – as well as simultaneously running checks on your immigration & work status. If all checks out, it stamps your passport and off you go!

A process that can take up to 25 minutes (true story) under police supervision is promised to be cut down to under 10 seconds.

Egy-Gates, as it is being called, has been activated in the Departures and Arrivals section of Terminal 3, and is currently being installed in Terminals 1 & 2. Legit stuff.

While this is all fabulous news so far, the registration and activation process seems to be a bit disastrous (read: bureaucratic and inefficient)

To use Egy-Gates, you must apply for a Travel ID card. To apply, you must be over 16 years of age, ensure your passport is valid for at least two years and bring a passport photo, your National ID (as well as a photocopy) to the Information System Management Unit of Cairo Airport’s Police located in Terminal 1. You will also have to register your fingerprints and wait 48 hours for the card (and your passport) to be ready.

If you’re too lazy to collect your passport & card, your friend who lives in Sheraton is always available to pick it up for you. After all, we all want to help each other – virtually, at least.

For more information, check them out here.

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