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British Airways expands its biometric boarding gate trials in the US

British Airways is expanding its biometric boarding gate tests in the US. Last November, it began testing self-service boarding gates in Los Angeles Airport that don't require customers to produce either their boarding pass or their passport. Instead, passengers only need to look into a camera, wait for their biometric data to be checked against their passport, visa or immigration photos and then walk onto the plane once their identity has been verified. So far, the US tests have been… ( More...

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Jeraboam 2
We experienced this system on arrival in Lisbon, Portugal from Toronto in mid-February. We were at the end of an incoming passengers line for security checks, 200-300 people, when an official took six of us from the end of the line and processed us through with the new system. It took about five minutes to record our passport data, facial scan and handprint and proceed to the similar scanner for verification. Our passports now have a sticker which allows us to use this system for five years. We probably saved about 45 minutes in the slow-moving line and look forward to using the system on our return to Toronto via Lisbon. We don't know if the technology is available yet in Toronto.
We experienced the lines at passport control in early January. I would like to believe that your 45 minute estimate was accurate but our experience was more like 90 minutes. If this type of technology can improve the situation that would be great news, and the airlines can then focus on having our checked bags delivered to the carousel with greater speed!
Jeraboam 1
I was probably unrealistically optimistic! 90 minutes seems a more accurate estimate as our line reached to the very end of the divider tapes. I was surprised to see that the employee who ushered us through the scanners only took the last half dozen passengers and did not return to the long line for more. This would have been the ideal time to use the new system and make a lot of travelers happy with the whole process.


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