Airline Introducing Facial Recognition System That Lets You Board Flights Without A Passport, And Not Everyone Is Happy

One of the most annoying parts of traveling by plane is the time you spend standing in line waiting to have your passport checked. It’s a necessary evil, but Emirates Airlines believes they have the solution: facial recognition software that allows people to complete the check-in and boarding processes without getting their passports out.

You can already be tracked around the airport.

Your biometric data can be picked up on just by you being present. Cameras can pick up on your irises and other identifying features, and Emirates wants to use that data to let you “stroll through” the airport while keeping your passports firmly away.

The Emirates lounge in the Dubai Airport launched the technology in the UAE b ack in 2020, and they hope to be able to widen its scope and ultimately “reduce human interaction” moving forward.

Emirates believes this is what customers want.

Adel Al Redha, the Chief Operating Officer at Emirates, said: “We have always focused on providing a great customer experience at any touchpoint and now it is more vital than before to make use of technology and implement products, and introduce processes that focuses not only on fast tracking customers, but more importantly on health and safety during their travel journey.”

The state-of-the-art, contactless biometric path is the latest in a series of initiatives we have introduced to make sure that travelling on Emirates is a seamless journey and gives customers added peace of mind.”

But actually, not everyone thinks this is a great idea.


Emirates’ biometric facial recognition: The future of passport-free boarding? #emirates #travel #flight #airline #dubai #uae

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Some people believe that this won’t actually be any faster than actually having a human being check your passport.

“I already did this in Dubai last week. Go through the gates with facial recognition. Takes the same amount of time as scanning the passport,” they wrote on TikTok.

Others pointed out that most technology has errors at times, so you’d still need to have your passport with you.

“Imagine there is a glitch and you don’t have ur passport…also not every country will accept that,” they pointed out.

While some people weren’t happy with just how much biometric data the airport (and Emirates) would hold on you, many said that it’s not much different than how much data we all walk around with on a daily basis and have tied to our phones and passports.

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Will this actually become a widespread thing?

Perhaps not. At the moment, it’s only Emirates testing this technology, and only at the Dubai Airport.

However, as corporations seek to automate processes to cut costs and remove all human interaction in the future, there’s every chance this could start popping up around the world.

Let’s just hope it’s actually safe. After all, technology can always be exploited, so from a security standpoint, this is somewhat concerning.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill