British Airways is to trial the use of biometric technology in place of passports on international flights.
The airline is the first in the UK to trial the technology, which enables passengers to travel ‘smartly’ on an international flight.
The trial will run for six months on BA flights to Malaga from Heathrow Terminal 5.
Customers who sign up to the trial will be asked to scan their face, passport and boarding pass on their smartphone or tablet ahead of travel. BA says this information will be kept safe and secure.
When trial participants arrive at the airport, Smart Bio-Pod cameras will verify their identity in under three seconds, allowing them to keep their passport safely in their pocket until they reach their destination.
BA Operations Transformation Manager David Breeze 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.”
Customers who opt-in will be invited to make use of the Fast-Track security lane and will receive complimentary priority boarding.
If the trial is successful, it’s expected to be extended to more international flights.
It follows the introduction of automated biometric technology on British Airways’ domestic flights in 2017, when the carrier became the first UK airline to introduce the technology, which records customers’ facial scans at security and matches it to them at the boarding gate.