Facial recognition is expected to speed up the check-in process at the airport, Source: Depositphotos

Face instead of passport: Frankfurt Airport first to try biometric check-ins for all

Face instead of passport: Frankfurt Airport first to try biometric check-ins for all

The facial recognition system has been available only for passengers on certain airlines until now

Frankfurt Airport, one of Europe’s busiest flight hubs, will soon be the first on the continent to offer facial recognition services as part of the check-in process for all passengers flying out of there. The official term for the digitalized procedure is ‘biometric check-in’.

The technology has already been available for some time, but only for people flying on Lufthansa and its affiliated Star Alliance partners on certain routes. Now, however, the idea is to expand its scope and offer it as an option to any traveller who wishes to cut down on the check-in waiting times and skip the long lines.

In essence, when checking in for your flight, you’ll now be able to use your face rather than your passport or identity card in order to prove that you’re the passenger. What used to be a trope of sci-fi movies in the past is now becoming a reality, it seems.

In order to access the service, passengers will have to first register in advance through the Star Alliance biometric app, or alternatively, at the check-in kiosk with their biometric-enabled passports. The entire process takes only a few seconds.

From then on, when passing through checkpoint gates in the airport, they’ll only have their faces scanned without the need to present documentation.

What about privacy concerns?

The face-recognition system known as ‘Smart Path’ has already been used by 12,000 passengers in what could be considered as the trial phase.

Our goal is to equip at least 50 per cent of all check-in machines as well as boarding pass control and departure gates with this groundbreaking technology in the next few months," said Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport Executive Board member responsible for infrastructure, as quoted by Euronews.

As far as personal data privacy is concerned, Sita, the company behind the technology states that all personal information will be deleted three hours after the flight departure. According to Sita, 75% of travellers are happy to use the new technology once it is introduced.



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