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Boarding passes are about to be a thing of the past

Chris Butler January 04th, 2018 1,337 views

The prospect of a document-free boarding process has become much more imaginable, as British Airlines (BA) has begun a trial of a biometric face detection system as a replacement for the travel documents and boarding passes of passengers.

BA is the first major airline to adopt the technology, produced by Vision-Box, where it is currently being trialled at Los Angeles Airport up until February 2018. The machine, which captures the faces of travellers and detects the match of a duplicate digital file stored within an initial immigration scanning procedure, intends to speed the process of boarding a flight exponentially. But the face recognition technology, impressive as it may sound, will inevitably have its sceptics.


Questions of how and where your personal data is being used will always be asked whenever the handing over of it is concerned. Arguments for convenience and safety against privacy and liberty are constantly at the forefront of modern life, which only become more prevalent as the technology advances. Many travellers will naturally be reluctant to use new machines, but technological trends suggest the widespread adoption of face recognition systems will be ubiquitous across all sectors in years to come.

With an ever-growing population and the number of travellers increasing annually, it seems undeniable that the biometric technology could relieve some of the strains that airports face. Whether or not this process will lead to a convenience-rich utopia, or be abused into an Orwellian-like state of surveillance, or in fact whether we are already living it, such predictions are bound to divide opinions.

It's fair to say we have all had nightmares about forgetting boarding passes and passports where we have ended up missing a flight; after all, we all know someone who has done it. The technology will divide opinions on whether it will really enrich our travelling experience, so where do you stand on it?

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