Remove your shoes, have your identification and boarding pass ready, make sure your pockets are completely empty, and…scan your face?
Travelers will soon notice a time-saving step in their standard TSA security line and check in protocol as United States Customs and Border Protection expands biometric scanning at airports across the country.
Biometric scanning reads travelers’ fingerprints, eyes or faces in order to verify their identity and decrease check-in time. CLEAR, an identification company leading the biometric airport check-in movement, scans passengers’ fingerprints and eyes in order to confirm their identity.
CLEAR can save passengers approximately 30 minutes throughout the check-in process, and is currently available in more than 60 airports across the U.S. Users can use it to enter stadiums and other venues as well as airports after subscribing to one of the company’s plans.
CLEAR, and companies like it, are quickly replacing documented traveling. In the future, biometric check-in options will replace boarding passes and passports completely. Officials reportedly said that the systems do not biometrically track travelers.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2017 that officially authorized the implementation of the program. Biometric recognition systems, officials explain, are not only faster than traditional check-in options but also more accurate.
But for many airlines, biometric check-in is still in its infancy.
Delta Airlines announced that it had opened the first “biometric terminal” in Atlanta, with facial recognition check-in stations that look almost identical to boarding pass printers/scanners.
Other airlines and the TSA are currently exploring expansion possibilities for biometric technology in the check-in process.
Though the full integration of biometric technology in the travel industry could be years away, its benefits remain exciting. Airport regulars can expect a smoother, faster check-in process and the elimination of the constant fear of losing a passport as easy scanning replaces cumbersome documentation.