British Airways is trialling a brand new biometric scanning system on flights between London Heathrow and Malaga
The UK airline flag carrier is the first to trial biometric tech for travel through the airport ‘smartly’ without showing a passport. Customers on the airline’s trial from London Heathrow T5 can scan their face, passport, and boarding pass on their smartphone ahead of travel.
When arriving at the airport, Smart Bio-Pod cameras verify their identity in under three seconds. David Breeze, Operations Transformation Manager for BA, said:
“This is a secure and efficient tool that makes for a smarter airport experience. The technology also frees our people up to look after more complex customer enquiries.”
The trial is scheduled to run for a period of six months on British Airways flights to Malaga, (AGP) Spain. Customers who opt-in will be invited to make use of the Fast-Track security lane and priority boarding.
It is expected to be extended to more international flights if successful. It follows the introduction of automated biometric technology on British Airways’ domestic flights in 2017.
Tandem trials underway in America
British Airways is also trialling biometric technology to speed up boarding and arrivals processes in Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
Customers are breezing through new biometric boarding gates at Orlando International Airport, with the airline managing to board flights of almost 240 customers in around ten minutes.
Working in partnership with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and technology partner SITA, British Airways is the first and only airline to use this particular technology to board international flights.
Customers in Orlando are joining those flying with British Airways from Los Angeles who have been praising the new biometric boarding process since November 2017.
The gates in Los Angeles Airport, used by British Airways, have resulted in the airline boarding more than 400 customers in only 22 minutes – less than half the time it takes when not using this technology.