Earlier this year I was in Japan and Korea. Now I'm back in my home country. However, when I was in Korea the "scan" machine before going to luggage inspection, right before accessing the boarding gates made a weird "alert" sound. It has happened at least twice already, but both times the officer just handed me back my passport and didn't ask me anything. They just made sure I looked the same as in the photo.

When I was checking out of Japan, before going to the boarding gates, when the officers scanned my passport, they all looked at each other confused but never looked at me or asked any question.

I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my passport and what it could it? I'm a little concerned even though I've never been asked anything whenever this happens.

  • 6
    There's no reason to think that the sound made by the scan machine was an "alert" sound. You passed through passport control. An officer manually checked your passport. This happens every day. There is nothing wrong with your passport. Aug 9, 2018 at 3:08
  • I'm a little concerned even though I've never been asked anything whenever this happens. If this was something of concern, you would definitely have come to know by now :) Aug 9, 2018 at 7:36
  • 1
    By “scan machine before luggage inspection”, you mean the metal detector you walk through? It beeps when it detects metal (or sometimes if you have been randomly selected for further inspection). Usually you are not supposed to walk through it with your passport, as recent passports contain metal (the RFID chip and antenna). It’s uncommon for security personnel at this stage to check passports, but each country may have slightly different procedures.
    – jcaron
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:44
  • Many NFC readers make a distinct sound when reading the chip inside a passport. Is this the sound you have been hearing? Aug 9, 2018 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


That beep is likely a sound that the inspector's scanner has scanned your passport (and your boarding pass is in order). As far as I can recall, it has been beeping all the times whenever I enter luggage inspection, and nothing happened except "move on".

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