a person looking at a person's face

Keep it in your pockets, ok?

There’s an undeniable hassle at each airport checkpoint. You’ve got your iPad, wallet, phone, book, backpack, boarding passes and everything neatly put away, yet at least three checkpoints make you pull them out. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just breeze through the airport, with your passport safely tucked away and everything you need right on your mobile phone? Qantas thinks so, and the airline has initiated facial recognition trials to perhaps improve the airport experience forever…

a white airplane flying in the skyWhat On Earth?

The concept is simple: keep your ID and documents in your pockets, because your face is all you need to breeze through each airport checkpoint. We’re living in a biometric driven world, where traveler information is collected at every juncture, so why fidget with the formality of ID, passport and paper? Per Australian Business Traveller, Qantas is trialling a new “Qantas Facial Recognition App” and while no points are due for name originality, many are for passenger experience. The app is aimed at simplifying the airport journey by verifying details with a scan of your face, and that’s all.

a person using a device to spray a faceHow It Works

Qantas is in the midst of a one month trial at Brisbane Airport for flights to Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. This follows a recent successful trial at Sydney Airport. Travelers on these trial flights can download the cleverly titled “Qantas Facial Recognition App” on Android phones. Sorry Apple users, you’ll have to wait. Once downloaded, passengers scan their passport photo and complete other passport data in the secure app. When you reach the airport, your biometric information is ready for action and your passport, for inaction. Travelers with lounge access will be able to scan their face, rather than boarding pass at the entrance and the same futuristic procedures will also apply at the boarding gate. There’s no obligation to opt for this trial, and passengers will have the option of using standard boarding queues as well.

a group of people walking with luggageFrictionless Travel

Just like sci-fi thriller “Minority Report“, your body will tell the full story, and it’s all you’ll need to breeze through the airport. No need to pull out ID’s, boarding passes or anything else. Your face will be scanned at every crucial point, and the data collected via the app will open any and all gates. There truly could be a day in the near future where you don’t need to speak to anyone, or pull out a single document to get from curbside to boarded, which is yet another reason to go carry on only. The future is now, assuming the trials work well.

Are you excited?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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