I certainly appreciate expedited security screening and border controls such as Global Entry and NEXUS programs in North America. There are a few other similar programs that are available in other countries as well.
What is EasyPass?
In Germany, the EasyPass program allows for automated border checks at electronic gates in main German airports. This has been available to nationals of the European Union with biometric passports for some time, but now is available to citizens of a few other countries, including the United States and Hong Kong.
I was recently on a business trip in Frankfurt, and while there I registered for EasyPass. The process was very easy and quick. It took me longer to find the enrollment center than it did to register. At the Frankfurt airport the registration center is located in Terminal 1, very near the Lufthansa First Class check in area.
EasyPass registration center in Frankfurt, in the small Federal Police office in T1
Currently there are also registration centers in Hamburg, and Munich airports. The only requirement to register is to have a biometric passport, and not have any security issues preventing participation in the program. Global Entry or other trusted traveler program participation is not required. Enrollees must also be willing to have personal data stored in the Federal Police database.
These E-gates are available when crossing external borders of the Schengen area on arrival or departure in Frankfurt, Berlin Tegel, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Munich airports. The automated border control system reads the passport, then uses photo recognition to identify the traveler. After this is complete, an officer will check for any additional entry requirements, and stamp the passport.
For more information on EasyPass, click here for information from the Global Entry website. In addition, here is a link to the English language information on EasyPass from the German Federal Police.
After my time in Frankfurt, I flew to another destination within the Schengen region, so I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try this out upon departure. Have you experienced EasyPass in German airports?