British Airways has begun trialling self-service biometric boarding gates on international flights out of Los Angeles Airport.
The airline says it is the first to implement such technology in the US and believes the technology will “transform customers’ airport experience by improving the boarding process and significantly reducing the amount of time it takes to board an aircraft”.
Created by Vision-Box, the technology will mean customers no longer need to present passport or boarding passwa at the gate – only at check in and security. Instead, travellers look into a camera prior to boarding, wait for their biometric data to be verified, then walk onto the aircraft.
Similarly to facial identification built into mobile phones, the biometric gates use high definition camera technology, and allow customers to pass through by recognising their unique facial features, and reconciling them with the digital facial scan taken as part of the immigration process.
British Airways has worked in partnership with the Customs and Border Protection Agency and the US government to develop and approve the scheme.
The gates, using technology already in use by BA at Heathrow Terminal 5, have been installed on three stands at Los Angeles Airport
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “Our customers want the ability to simplify and speed up their journeys through the airport, so we’re investing in the most advanced technology that will enable us to streamline our boarding process and further improve our punctuality.
“We’re using biometric technology that consumers are now familiar with and trust because it delivers a convenient, reliable and secure experience. This step forward to modernise our operation is a first in the industry, and we will continue to work with airports around the world to evolve this technology and revolutionise the way in which people travel.”
Los Angeles World Airports chief innovation and technology officer Justin Erbacci added: “We have been very impressed with the results thus far, and love to see the passengers’ excitement at being some of the first in the world to use facial recognition to board British Airways flights from LAX to Heathrow.”