The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has partnered with British Airways to trial what it says was the “first integrated shopping to travel journey using digital identity”.

Customers on a BA flight between London Heathrow and Rome Fiumicino were able to make use of technology including digital wallets, digital passports and biometric gates to travel through the airport.

The “Proof of Concept” trial included travel requirements being checked through the digital passport before the passenger arrived at the airport, Ready-to-Fly confirmation and seat assignment messages being sent by BA to the traveller, and the use of biometric data to travel through security, into lounges and onto the aircraft.

Passengers were also able to share their loyalty card data (stored as a verifiable credential in their smart phone’s digital wallet), allowing them to receive personalised offers.

A video explaining more about the trial can be seen below.

The trial follows IATA’s publication of ‘Recommended Practice on Digitalization of Admissibility’ last year – industry standards which aim to remove the need for stops at the check-in desk or boarding gate for document checks.

IATA publishes industry standards designed to remove physical checks at airports

Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for operations, safety and security said that while technology exists to allow for a fully integrated digital identity travel experience at each stage of the journey, “linking these steps together has proven challenging”.

The association collaborated with a total of 11 partners on the trial, including Accenture, Amadeus, Australian Border Force, AWS, Branchspace, British Airways, IDnow, Aeroporti di Roma, SICPA,, and Verchaska.

“In future, a smart phone storing a digital wallet that is loaded with your digital passport, loyalty cards and other verifiable travel credential, is all that will be needed to travel,” said

“Achieving that reality needs the kind of cooperation that we have demonstrated today with 11 companies coming together to facilitate the first fully integrated digital journey.

“Success, of course, is underpinned by interoperability and global standards – so the advantage of the digital travel conveniences are available to travellers throughout their journey and wherever it may take them.”