British Airways Introducing Automated Biometric Boarding Gates at Heathrow
The boarding process at airports can be one of the most inefficient and stressful times of the flying process. Everyone is jostling for position, some people are trying to board before they should, and the gate agents are stuck taking boarding passes when they could be assisting passengers. British Airways has taken this to another level by now implementing biometric scanning to create automated, self service gates at LHR airport.
As you pass through security, you’ll get a digital scan of your face recorded. When you get to the gate, your boarding pass is matched to the face. If they both match the doors open and you’re allowed through! Couldn’t be easier… right?
British Airways did a trial of this back in June of last year, and now they’re rolling it our in T5 in Heathrow for UK domestic flights to start. The goal, of course, is to get to doing international flights, but until they get all the kinks worked out, it’ll stick to domestic flights only.
Automation on the rise
This is just one part in a new wave of airlines going more automated. Paris has boarding pass scans at the gates to enter. Alaska Airlines in the state has electronic bag tags. Qantas offers self service bag drops for clients in their international airports. US Customs has a mostly automated process for people entering the USA from a large number of counties and is increasing every year. Slowly but surely, the process is becoming quicker and easier.
The idea that you should have to wait an hour in line and arrive 2 hours before is something passengers can’t get onboard with, and anything the airlines can do to make the entire flying experience more fluid and simpler is a happy change.