British Airways is trialling biometric technology for international flights, enabling customers to travel abroad without having to show their passport.
The trial will run for six months on BA flights from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Malaga in Spain. Select customers will receive an email three days before their flight with a link to scan their face, passport and boarding pass via a smartphone or tablet ahead of travel.
Once they arrive at the airport, Smart Bio-Pod cameras will recognise passengers “in under three seconds”, meaning they won’t have to provide their passport until they reach their destination airport. They will, however, have to show their boarding pass at security.
Customers taking part will also be able to make use of the fast-track security lane and receive complimentary priority boarding.
The technology, created by travel tech company Amadeus and customised for BA, is expected to be extended to more international flights if the trial is successful.
David Breeze, operations transformation manager for British Airways, said:
“Not only is this the first time that our customers have been able to register their biometric information at home, but it’s the first time they can use it for British Airways’ international flights. This is a secure and efficient tool that makes for a smarter and smoother airport experience, which will reduce the time it takes us to board aircraft.
“The beauty of this technology is that it also frees our people up to look after more complex customer enquiries and deliver the best possible customer service.”
In 2017 British Airways introduced biometric gates for domestic flights.