British Airways Launches New Smart Technology Trial At Heathrow

British Airways Launches New Smart Technology Trial At Heathrow

British Airways became to first UK carrier to launch a new smart technology trial that allows passengers to travel without showing their passports.

How Does British Airways Biometric Technology Work

The biometric technology will be starting a six months trial specifically on a British Airways flight to Malaga, Spain from London Heathrow. The passengers on this flight will be randomly selected and emailed three days before their departure. But they are able to register at different locations near Check-in Zone B.

Then, those who wish to take part in the airline’s trial from London Heathrow Terminal 5 will be invited to scan their face, passport and boarding pass on their smartphone or tablet before departure. The personal information will be kept safe and secure. 

At the airport, the Smart Bio-Pod cameras verify their identity in under three seconds, allowing them to save time taking out passports. But British Airways warned that passengers will need to show their passports at destination airports.

Customers who opt-in for the trial will also be invited to make use of the Fast-Track security lane and will receive complimentary priority boarding.

In a press release, 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”

First UK Airline To Introduce Biometric Boarding

After a successful trial back in 2016, British Airways was the first to introduce biometric technology for domestic flights in 2017. This technology records customers’ facial scans at security and matches them at the boarding gate.

Summary

British Airways became the first UK airline to launch a new smart technology trial that allows passengers to board without a passport. There will be a six months trial on flights to Malaga, Spain (AGP) before the system fully takes place on other destinations.

Passengers on British Airways flights to Malaga will be randomly chosen and be emailed if they would like to take part in the trial. When opted-in, they will receive some benefits at London Heathrow Airport such as fast track and priority boarding.

Though there are some worrying views about relying on personal information on technology, I hope this trial goes well and successfully so it will save time for passengers in the future at the airport.

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