More good work by Led by Donkeys

I think that’s just the kiosks which are using facial recognition for speeding up the process of checking passports, and I’m not sure it routinely applies to UK passports at the moment because you still need the entry/exit stamp.

EES is to be used for tracking the 90/180 day maximum stay in Schengen, so needs to be activated at all ports of entry simultaneously otherwise it doesn’t work.


Apparently there are currently 12 passport check booths at Dover.
Source; Travelers Queue 6 Hours at Europe's Busiest Ferry Port for Checks

I have used the Parafes system at Orly. Works just fine and completely bypasses the usual queue.

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Assuming the figure of 12 is current and five was the state of play in Dec 2020 then it would appear that it has, indeed, been increased - somewhat disproving your “I don’t understand why the French aren’t doing everything that they can to speed up access for tourism” comment earlier.

However, the root cause remains Brexit - when we were in the EU, even though we were not in Schengen we were not limited to 90/180 days so no passport stamp was needed and people could be waved through with only the most cursory of checks if it got really busy.

Now the stamp is needed - that’s not a French requirement but a Schengen one (set out in Article 11) so the French cannot waive it, even if they felt so inclined.

Hopefully EES will actually improve transit through the ports - but I suspect here will be “teething problems” which actually make it worse in the short term.

I am amazed that so many folk still can’t see what Brexit is bringing to bear on even the most straight forward of things…
only the other day, I was chatting with a UK friend and nearly choked down the phone to hear how France was to blame for “anything and everything…”
really not sure if I shall be able to remain polite next time we meet (not too soon, I hope)


The problem is that the default UK position is to blame the French, not helped when people swallow what the red tops are reporting uncritically.

I am sadly beginning to realize that those whom I had previously considered to be wise… are really daft as dandelions…
not sure I want to share my homebrews/chocolates etc with such as they…

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My worst experience with airports has been Atlanta, Georgia and Oliver Tambo, Joburg.

Atlanta took almost 2.5hrs to get through immigration which was annoying but just meant I got to my hotel later.

At Joburg, however, it was the check-in that took forever. I almost missed my internal flight until a local told me to just ignore the queue and barge my way through everybody… They were right and nobody complained so I made it by the skin of my teeth :grin:

The longest wait we had was in 1972, shortly after the Munich horror.
Stuck for hours and hours at the airport as we’d gone through PPort control and couldn’t go back outside…
Huge crowds, toilets blocked/overflowing… food machine emptied in a flash… and the heat was overpowering…

However, once we realized what it was all about… it didn’t make it better, but it made it understandable.

Eventually, I was happy to sit on the plane, knowing full well that everything and everyone had been thoroughly searched/scrutinized…

Hopefully, with more border checks… perhaps some of the baddies won’t find travel so easy… who knows.


Can Brits still go through these booths at the moment? - until EES is introduced there is still a need for the passport to be stamped, which can’t be automated.

Yes, I too noticed those booths on the tv, with only 5 of 10 open. However, they seem to be check in booths and not border posts. I think the border posts are behind those booths. Not been to Dover for some time, so things may have changed.

why be so critical of dandelions Stella… I think they are really clever little things and make excellent sherry like wine…
Cleared a rugby pitch of dandelion heads on St Georges Day (by tradition) many years ago in the 70’s, steeped them for (I think) a week and then poured the liqueur off to ferment… at the time thinking “I refuse to drink green wine” but it turned a lovely golden colour as it matured and was rather good to drink in the end :wine_glass:


The Calais port/ferry area is huge.
Apart from the Brexit issue Successive British Governments have never understood the importance of good infrastructure. Britain should be ashamed at what a poor example Dover is.

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Those of us resident in the EU have every right to expect the border of the EU to be properly guarded and controlled. Checks on travelers should be comprehensive to ensure that all the paperwork is in order, that they are who they say they are and to make sure that they are not exceeding the 90 days in every 180.


I don’t remember Calais as huge - though it is years since I went on a Dover-Calais ferry (the last time was when there was a problem with the BF service and they “redirected” us).

I understand it has been expanded considerably post Brexit.

Dover is crap because there is literally no space for it to expand into.


nor are they unduly bothered about it since they fervently believe that the world will beat a path to its door to the exclusion of all others.

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I think it’s a precondition for registration with Parafes that a person is French resident. Nationality isn’t the controlling factor, it’s residency.
As an aside, I watched a program on the TV last night that showed a robotic arm accurately and rapidly planting Rosemary plant cuttings in little ‘plug’ pots at an amazing rate. I was truly astounded as I would previously have said that such a task could not possibly be automated. We live in truly incredible times.

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You’re quite right, of course. I deliberately leave the dandelions to bloom for the bees’ benefit…

OK daft as dunderheads… does that sound better…

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