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British Airways deploys biometric technology at four U.S. airports


British Airways. PHOTO: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images<br />

British Airways is trialling biometric technology to speed up boarding and arrivals processes in Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Customers are breezing through new biometric boarding gates at Orlando International Airport, with the airline managing to board flights of almost 240 customers in around 10 minutes.

Working in partnership with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and technology partner SITA, British Airways is the first and only airline to use this particular technology to board international flights.


Customers in Orlando are joining those flying with British Airways from Los Angeles who have been praising the new biometric boarding process since November 2017.

The gates in Los Angeles Airport, used by British Airways, have resulted in the airline boarding more than 400 customers in only 22 minutes – less than half the time it takes when not using this technology.

The biometric boarding gates remove the need for travellers to present their boarding pass and passport at the departure gate, simplifying and speeding up boarding.

The new technology, from SITA, creates­ a smoother and quicker journey for customers. They simply look into a camera prior to boarding, wait for their biometric data to be verified, and walk onto the aircraft.

British Airways’ Regional Commercial Manager for West Africa, Kola Olayinka, said: “British Airways is pioneering the use of biometric technology to benefit customers by simplifying and speeding up their journey through the airport, as part of our £4.5 billion investment programme.

“We’re using technology that consumers are now familiar with and trust because it delivers a convenient, reliable and secure experience.

“Our latest trial with SITA in Orlando is helping us to reduce the time it takes to board our aircraft, and early indications are that using biometrics for arrivals has huge potential too. These trials will help us to evolve the technology and processes we use to best suits the needs of our customers,” Olayinka said.

SITA President, Americas, Diana Einterz, added that SITA had partnered with British Airways to deliver a great customer experience using sophisticated technologies.

“We have combined the various airline boarding checks along with the US border checks into one simple step. British Airways customers simply look at a camera and within seconds are approved to board. It is secure and seamless travel in action today,” Einterz said.

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