Almost all of the airports in Germany have “EasyPASS gates”, designed to make transiting through Germany a seamless experience for European citizens with an ePassport by default. This initiative is similar to the Global Entry kiosks here in the United States.
The best part of it all is that these gates aren’t just limited to European citizens anymore – it’s not widely known that citizens of the US and Hong Kong can use these gates too after a simple [and totally free] registration.
When I visited Frankfurt and the Lufthansa First Class Terminal back in November (after an an amazing Lufthansa First Class flight), I was able to enroll my passport in the EasyPASS-RTP/ABG Plus program to start using the gates immediately. The whole registration process was simple took about 5 minutes (ironically, my Global Entry interview in the US was just as painless).
At Frankfurt airport, the enrollment center is located inside the tiny police station in Terminal 1 (Level 2, Hall A). Registration is available between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm, and no appointment is necessary – you can just pop in and ask to be enrolled. For those of you who may have a hard time locating it, it is right by the Lufthansa First Class check-in area. Information regarding the enrollment centers at other airports in Germany can be found here.
In my experience, registration was quick and easy with a German police officer. I simply filled out a sheet of paper and the officer loaded my passport data into their systems. You do not have to have Global Entry in the US to register – you just need to present a valid US passport. Once you’re registered, you can immediately start using the EASYPASS gates.
Using the gates and completing the border control on your own can save you valuable time when entering/transiting through Germany, especially when lines are long (more lounge time). It’s also worth noting that even when using the EasyPASS gates with a US passport, you will still get a passport stamp.
Have you also enrolled in EasyPASS-RTP/ABG Plus in Germany? If so, how was your experience?