Are the days of stamping passports gone?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yg17, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    I arrived in London this morning, and after the grilling the immigration guy gave me at Heathrow, I was hoping to get a stamp in my shiny, new, empty passport, but he gave it back to me stampless. With these damn RFID chips in passports, are stamps just a novelty that you have to ask for now?

    And on a side note, does the word "restrooms" mean something completely different in the UK? I arrived at my hotel early, and my room wasn't ready and I had to wait, so I asked the person working at the check in counter where the restrooms were, and she seemed confused but told me there were some in a shopping center across the street. But as I was walking to sit down and saw a sign that said "Toilets" right there in the lobby. So I know you guys refer to them as Toilets, but does restroom not mean the same thing? Maybe next time I'll just ask where the sh*tter is, that seems to be universal :D
     
  2. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #2
    Funny this should be brought up today. My grans just moved house so we've been sorting through and stumbled upon her old passports, whole thing is full of foreign stamps. But mine? Granted I only holiday in mainland Europe my passport is bare :eek: So I guess they don't really do it much these days. Or at least in Spain, Poland, France etc which is a bit of a shame.
     
  3. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Many places do not stamp any more -- though sometimes it depends where you are coming from or going to. Japan and Korea always stamp and entering the European Union from the US usually gets you a stamp. I've found that you can always ask for a stamp if they don't automatically give one and they will give it to you.

    Regarding the restrooms -- in Europe go for "Water Closet" (or WC) and you are generally safer.

    Cheers!
     
  4. UberMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #4
    EU passports don't really get them anymore when traveling within the EU (except in Germany where they love dishing the stamps out) unless you specifically ask for them (I always do - I love filling my passport up!). I spent the summer in Africa and the Americas and I got stamps in every country I went to! And because of some rather random routes taken on my part I have about four US stamps from the same visit despite the visa lasting 90 days...

    Uber
     
  5. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Not sure why this person didn't know what a restroom was, not a hugely common term, but everyone knows it I would have thought.
    Ask for a 'water closet' in the uk and you'll probably be asked for your plumbing credentials.
     
  6. djellison macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #6
    Three trips to Germany, one to Spain, one to Ireland ( all from the UK ) and not a stamp in sight. I got one flying to NYC last year though. Hope to get another one into LAX in a fortnight.

    Infact, a friend of mine flew to Dublin, didn't get stamped and as she was walking away commented to someone "awww - I wanted a stamp - I've not used my passport before". The security person called her back, asked for her passport back, stamped it and said "There we go - we can't have you unhappy on your first trip to Ireland now can we"

    The first, last, and quite possibly only time, in recorded history, when a passport control person exhibited an ounce of personality and pleasantness.
     
  7. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #7
    Japan gives you a really cool little sticker when you arrive and a stamp when you leave.
     
  8. shfreelance macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    Eustis, FL
    #8
    Omg Make Me Feel Like A Kid With All These Cool Stamps And Stickers!!!!!!
     
  9. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #9
    I once went on holiday to Iran with my mum (she works for BA, and had been there once with work, and she told me it was nice) so i thought ok i'll go with her, see what its like, and they stamped my passport. Massive mistake letting them do that was, I had a 4 hour 'interview' that was basically an interrogation on returning to the UK (Heathrow), asking me what i'd been doing there, how much money id spent, every slight detail of my holiday lol. I even had a strip search in some weird room, and they tipped all my luggage out in public. Oh and also now i can never go to Isreal either unless i get a new passport. Sucks hey!

    I think with the new eye scanner thing i've seen around airports, when people get the new compatible passports we wont even need to queue.
     
  10. muldul macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, England, UK
    #10
    WTF, no one uses the words "Water closet" in the UK, maybe WC but that is for foreigners (like how half our signs have French on them now). Ask where the toilets are and you will be fine, we don't use the term restroom though.
    As for the passport thing, noooo!!. My passport just expired, so that means i will never get my new one stamped as it comes with the chip and i feel really sad asking for them to stamp it.
    Yeah in the EU it never gets stamped, or sometimes even checked. I can go to most countries in Europe and might as well have forgotten my passport as it is never asked for.
     
  11. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11

    Yeah, thats why I didn't go back to ask for one. The guy seemed like a power tripping prick. Who am I, why am I here, why is this my first time overseas, why did I choose London for my first time overseas, do I know anyone who lives here and who, who do I work for in the US, what do I do there, and when am I returning to work....jesus. I never knew a first time traveler traveling to the UK alone was such a security risk :rolleyes: I've heard Germany is a lot better, especially with US passports, they hardly give it a second thought. Guess I'll find out in a few days.
     
  12. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #12
    Traveling within the EU with an EU Passport you don't get stamped unless you ask, with a non-EU Passport it is a hit and miss if you get stamped or not.

    If you want a stamp go to the Middle East, Israel will give you a stamp whether you want it or not, which makes it hard getting in to the Arab countries :( although I have only been to Egypt & Saudi Arabia (which I got in after a bit of persuading).

    P.S Egypt & Saudi Arabia give stamps as well :)
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #13
    I had 20 pages full of stamps in my 5 year old passport. They still give stamps out quite regularly, although less developed countries are definitely going to give you stamps and sticker visas in your passport. Perhaps that's how I got so many. The techie countries will have options like e-Visas and no stamps. My new passport has stamps as well.


    Perhaps you should ask for the toilets?

    As they say: When in Rome, s*** where the Romans s***.


    And for those reading in Canada, never ask where the washroom is in England. I once accidentally asked for a washroom one night while I was drunk and at the home of a friend's friend, and she took me to the laundry room. :p :D

    Same thing happened when I was looking for a flat in the Highbury area near old Arsenal Stadium in London. They were all rather easy-going students around the same age as me, and were understanding enough about my homelessness to actually allow me to do my laundry if I really had to. I didn't like the flat anyway, but the people were very nice. :eek:


    The pink one? Yes, those are most excellent. :)
     
  14. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #14
    Well before you get too hot and bothered about the UK Border Agency… ;)

    You have (obviously) never had the pleasure of the US immigration gestapo…

    Russia, China, Ukraine is a doddle compared to their paranoia.
    :eek:
     
  15. bettykoyle macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2008
  16. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #16
    I've never had a problem with US immigration (as yet). In fact, I've had three marriage proposals from their agents as they've stamped me into the country :p

    Best page in my current passport is from a trip last year to Hong Kong when we went for a daytrip to Macau. Stamped leaving Hong Kong, entering Macau, leaving Macau and entering Hong Kong again. :D
     
  17. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #17
    Obviously different for girls! :D:eek:

    Nice and big chops those… the Macau ones takes up about half a page. :eek:
     
  18. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #18
    In the US the term "toilet" refers specifically to the fixture, and Americans are hesitant to ask for it as such because it seems too evocative of the purpose for which one needs the facility.

    "Excuse me, my good fellow, but could you please direct me to the nearest toilet? Not a sink, for washing my hands is only my second order of business, nor a urinal, for it is inadequate to my purpose, but a toilet, if you take my meaning, and I expect you do, and I do hope you keep your lavatory paper in goodly supply."

    Does that specific connotation not exist in the UK?
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #19
    Mine just got stamped in Canada, so I'd say it must depend on where you are.
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #20
    Hong Kong stamps are pretty big too, no?


    @arkitect: Those questions seem pretty standard to me. I'm always asked for my reason for visiting the country, although sometimes I'm asked more questions than others. I don't think they singled you out. You were just the lucky one who got picked. ;)

    What I don't like are the questions I get when I return to Canada. I've lived overseas for years, so when I tell them my situation, and they continue to ask me questions like, "Have you made more than $750 in purchases since leaving the country?", what do they expect me to say? :rolleyes: 90% of my stuff was foreign, from my socks to my toothbrush.

    One time, while I was waiting for my luggage in Vancouver airport after a flight, I had 3 Custom's Officers walk up to me randomly and ask me questions for 5 minutes each. This was before I got my luggage and went to Customs. I was the last person to get my luggage that day.
     
  21. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #21
    I entered the UK thru Heathrow on Feb 6th of this year and they stamped mine so I guess your situation was just luck of the draw
     
  22. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #22
    *sigh* So true I guess…

    I think I'll have to work on improving my obviously dodgy-shifty manner.

    :D :p
     
  23. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #23
    1) we dont say things like 'Excuse me my good fellow'.. a simple, hiya often does the job
    2) a sentence such as, where abouts is the toilets? OR ask for the Gents/Ladies. You will be directed simply enough.
     
  24. Inked macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    #24
    Excuse me my good fellow, but speak for yourself!!:p I say it all the time:rolleyes:
     
  25. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #25
    Ha! Sorry, that was not meant to be faux-Britishism. That was just me. I mean, I don't say things like that either, but I write them. :D

    The point being, that's a little bit of the "too much information" sense many Americans will get by asking for "the toilet" specifically. "Restroom" is blessedly inspecific. "Toilet" feels a little close to approaching somebody and saying, "MUST CRAP NOW: WHERE?"
     

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