British Airways is the first UK airline to pilot the use of biometric technology on international flights, allowing customers taking the test to travel ‘smartly’ through the airport without having to show their passport.
Customers registering to participate in the airline’s trial from London Heathrow Terminal 5 will be asked to scan their face, passport and boarding pass on their smartphone or tablet prior to travel, with this information being kept safe and secure .
When study participants arrive at the airport, Smart Bio-Pod cameras verify their identity in less than three seconds, allowing them to keep their passports safely in their pockets until they reach their destination.
David Breeze, Operations Transformation Manager at British Airways said: “Not only is this the first time our customers have been able to register their biometrics at home, it is also the first time they have been able to use them on British Airways’ international flights. This is a safe and efficient tool that will deliver a smarter and smoother airport experience, reducing the time it takes us to board planes.”
“The beauty of this technology is that it also empowers our staff to take care of more complex customer inquiries and provide the best possible customer service.”
The test will run for six months on British Airways flights to Malaga, Spain. Customers who register will be invited to use the fast track security gate and receive complimentary priority boarding.
If the trial is successful, it is expected to expand to more international flights.
It follows the introduction of automated biometric technology on British Airways’ domestic flights in 2017, when the airline became the first UK airline to introduce the technology, which records customers’ facial scans at security and matches them to them at the boarding gate.