British Airways in November 2017 launched trials of its new biometric e-Gate boarding technology for select flights out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Instead of having to present boarding passes and passports at departure gates, customers can simply look into a camera prior to boarding to have their biometric data verified. The technology, from SITA, uses high-definition cameras to identify unique facial features and match them with passengers’ passport, visa or immigration photos.
Once approved, passengers can simply walk onto the aircraft.
In testing at LAX, British Airways says the biometric gates allowed 400 passengers to board in just 22 minutes – less than half the time it would normally take for customer service reps to manually check physical documents.
Now, British Airways is rolling the technology out at additional locations.
Two biometric gates have been installed at Orlando International Airport that are available to customers flying on the daily BA2036 flight to Gatwick. E-Gates have also been installed in Miami and New York to assist with processing arrivals.
Passengers still need to have their boarding pass and passports examined when going through check-in and security.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways' director of brand and customer experience, said the technology they are using is one that consumers are now familiar with and trust because it delivers a convenient, reliable and secure experience. Indeed, it’s similar in practice to the facial recognition systems that grace many of today’s most popular smartphones.
Martinoli said the trials will help British Airways evolve the technology and processes used to best suit the needs of their customers.