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BA to trial facial recognition technology at boarding gates

British Airways biometric gate technology

British Airways has started trialling the use of self-service biometric boarding gates on flights from Los Angeles International airport (LAX).

BA said it was the first airline to test this sort of technology, which is being provided by Vision Box, at airport gates and is designed to speed up the process of boarding passengers.

The system allows passengers to look into a camera at the gate before they board their aircraft, instead of having to present their passport or boarding pass.

The trial, being led by the airport, uses similar facial recognition technology as found on smartphones and compares the image at the gate with a facial scan taken as part of the immigration process at the airport.

British Airways said it had been working with the Customs and Border Protection Agency and the US government to develop and approve the system, which is being installed at three stands at LAX airport.

The airline is already using similar technology at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to check passengers’ biometric data when they scan their boarding passes.

BA’s director of brand and customer experience Carolina Martinoli 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.”

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