A passenger is left stranded at the Australian border after a passport scanner rejected her entry to Australia.
Key points:Passport scanners are now being used to screen travellers at airports in New Zealand and the USBut the machines are not equipped with video and audio detectionThe ABC has found some airports are not using video and sound detection machinesThe machines are designed to detect if travellers have been seen at the border in the past.
When an Australian woman attempted to board a flight to New Zealand from Sydney on Friday, she was refused entry because she had not had a passport scanned.
“There were several people sitting in front of me,” Ms Williams said.
“We had a video camera mounted to our seat, and a few people were also standing there, trying to get a better view of me.”
She said the machines at Sydney’s airport were equipped with audio and video detection equipment.
“I was just sitting there and I could hear people whispering to each other, and the machines wouldn’t be able to pick up on it,” she said.
She was eventually given a “passport validation sticker” which was then applied to her passport.
“But it’s not the type of sticker that allows you to get through the screening process,” she told the ABC.
“It’s a piece of paper that says I’ve had a card validated.
It’s just a piece in your passport.”
Passport validity stickers are currently only valid for a limited period of time.
Ms Williams said she had had her passport validated four times before.
“So I’m probably done for two years, or five,” she added.
“The reason I was stuck at the customs office on Friday was because I haven’t had a scan of my passport.”
Ms Williams’ ordeal illustrates the difficulties faced by travellers who are not able to travel to the US or other countries without being scanned.
Some airports have been testing the machines for the past year, but there are concerns that some machines may not be equipped with a video and/or audio detection system.
In addition, a few airports have decided to not use video and no audio detection devices at all.
The ABC asked airlines whether they were testing the video and video technology or whether the machines were not equipped.
“Unfortunately the machines we use for airport security are not in use for any of our security screening purposes, so we have no further comment at this time,” a spokeswoman for Air New Zealand said.