Amadeus and British Airways to redefine the passenger experience at Heathrow Terminal 5 with biometrics

posted on 23rd November 2022 by Gemma Keen

Major innovation trial with British Airways means passengers will not need to present passports or boarding passes at check-in, bag drop, or boarding.

With demand for travel continuing to rebound airlines and airports are focused on delivering an easier experience that reduces queues and makes international travel easier, more automated and more enjoyable.

It’s against this backdrop that Amadeus is part of a major biometric trial at London Heathrow Terminal 5 with British Airways that’s set to redefine how passengers experience the airport. The airline is upgrading its end-to-end passenger experience from check-in to boarding with Amadeus Biometric Solutions, as part of the six-month project.

British Airways customers traveling on select flights to Malaga, Spain, will have the option to enroll for the biometric passenger experience, eliminating the need to present boarding passes or passports at the airline’s different service points. Other international destinations, including Nice and Cape Town, are planned at a later stage.

Biometric enrollment happens either at home with a mobile phone or via kiosks at Terminal 5. Enrolled passengers are automatically recognized as they approach the self-serve bag drop or the boarding gate, with no need to present travel documents. Instead, they can drop their bag or board the plane, with each biometric check happening automatically

When biometrics are used, the entire British Airways check-in, bag drop and boarding experience at Terminal 5 is expected to take less than 60 seconds – leaving more time for the airline’s customers to enjoy the terminal.

David Breeze, Operations Transformation Manager for British Airways, said:Not only is this the first time that our customers have been able to register their biometric information at home, but it’s the first time they can use it for British Airways’ international flights from the UK. This is a secure and efficient tool that makes for a smarter and smoother airport experience, which will reduce the time it takes us to board aircraft.”

Breeze continued: “The beauty of this technology is that it also frees our people up to look after more complex customer enquiries and deliver the best possible customer service.”

Yannick Beunardeau, SVP Airport & Airline Operations EMEA, Amadeus, said: “Biometric technology can now be easily embedded across the entire passenger experience. At Amadeus, our biometric capabilities are in the cloud, which means we can easily equip any service point, at any airport, incorporating different government standards for biometrics. It’s a global solution that airlines and airports can easily turn on across their networks.”

Amadeus Biometric solutions are in use at a growing number of airports across the world, with the technology supporting Tokyo’s Narita airport to deliver ‘Face Express’, Japan’s first fully end-to-end biometric passenger experience. More than 10 airports in the United States rely on Amadeus to deliver the biometric exit checks for international travelers leaving the US.