British Airways is trialling self-service biometric boarding gates for international flights out of the United States. The carrier has partnered with Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for the trial, which makes use of e-gates provided by Vision-Box.
BA has been working closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the US government to develop and approve the scheme, which removes the need for passengers to present their boarding pass and passport at the gate. Instead, an image of each passenger’s face is taken at the gate and compared with and verified against the photo taken as part of the earlier immigration process. The gates 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.”
Los Angeles World Airports’ Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, Justin Erbacci, explained that the trial shows the “amazing potential of using biometrics to speed up the boarding process while maintaining safety and security”.
“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,” he added.
Earlier this year, British Airways won the “Best Initiative at the Gate” award at FTE Global for its installation of biometric self-boarding gates at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 for domestic flights.
Meanwhile, in the US JetBlue has also trialled biometric-enabled self-boarding for flights from Logan International Airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport.