I landed in Frankfurt last week and proceeded directly to the EasyPass lanes. It was my first attempt at entering Germany with my new trusted traveler credentials obtained a few weeks prior.
The machine read my passport, but I received an red error message stating this line was only for EU/CH passports. I tried a few more times and received the same message each time.
I returned to the regular line, which thankfully was not that long, and was soon stamped into Germany. With a bit of time on my hand before my first meeting, I headed directly to the EasyPass office at the airport to check on why I ran into issues.
The uniformed border security agent took one look at my passport and said:
“It’s too thick.”
I’ve never heard my passport described in that way before…
He went on to explain, all in German, that my passport is “larger than normal” and that causes the machine problems when reading the biometric chip. “Thick” passports routinely cause these sorts of issues, he explained. The solution was to hold the passport firmly down, perfectly centered inside the reader. He verified that my EasyPASS credentials were valid in the system.
Perhaps I’ll have a chance to try to it again later in the week.