This morning, though, my double-sided balloon of self-satisfaction was burst with some aplomb as I arrived at the usual spot to find that not only was the IRIS system not in operation but that it had been SCRAPPED FOR EVER. How am I meant to feel superior to my fellow travellers NOW? I don't have any other way at my disposal. Signing up for that scheme was all I had.
I checked with the Border Agent and he confirmed that the days of IRIS were over and that the next big thing would be facial recognition, but that "could take decades".
I just looked up what happened to IRIS, and it seems that the systems were already out of date when they were implemented and that in most airports they were actually slowing things down a lot, which doesn't do anything for my need for shallow victories at immigration control but I guess you can, begrudgingly, give up the future if it's not really delivering any benefits.
The chip in my passport doesn't work, so I'm back to the analogue method. See you at the back of the queue.