Europe’s Airports Are Going High-Tech with FaceBoarding to Cut Down Those Endless Lines

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Europe’s airports, especially in Italy, are trying out this cool new thing called FaceBoarding. It’s basically like using face recognition to check you in for your flight, so you don’t have to dig around for your passport or boarding pass.

According to Euronews, this fancy system was cooked up by some tech wizards from France called Thales and Security Gates, under the Swiss company Dormakaba. The idea is to make those never-ending airport queues a thing of the past, especially at security and boarding gates.

And it’s not just about speeding things up – they’re also big on privacy and keeping your data safe, says SEA, the company that runs Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports.

How Does FaceBoarding Work?

So, towards the end of 2023, a bunch of big-shot airports and stations in Asia were already getting into facial recognition tech to log in passengers. Basically, you just register once at a special spot, and then you can use the face scanners for all your future trips.

Loads of countries are already onboard with this face scan thing instead of boarding passes – Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and plenty of others in Europe like Germany, the UK, Spain, and even the USA.

Like those fancy facial scanners you see in big countries, FaceBoarding is all about high-tech scanning. But since it’s an app, if you’ve already given them your info and a pic of your face, you’re good to go.

Soon, FaceBoarding will recognize your face, match it with your info, and let you waltz right through security and boarding gates without needing to flash your ID or boarding pass.

European Airports Getting on Board with Automatic Biometric Systems

They’re planning to roll out this FaceBoarding thing at all the airports across Europe. But for now, only two airports in Italy – Milan Linate and Catania – are letting everyone over 18 use it. Plus, airlines like ITA Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) are signing up to get in on the action too.

And hey, besides FaceBoarding, there’s another system in the works that’ll keep tabs on traveler info, biometrics, and when and where they’re coming and going. It’s called the EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES), and it’s like an automatic sign-up for tourists from the UK and non-EU countries heading into the EU without needing a visa.

This new system, launching on October 6, 2024, will cover all EU member states except Cyprus and Ireland, plus four non-EU countries in the Schengen Area – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. But hey, they still need to ramp up the public’s awareness of these changes. A study from Coop Insurance found that nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK are in the dark about these newfangled biometric systems like the EES.

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