Airlines test eye scans, fingerprints, facial recognition to replace boarding passes

The time may be coming when travelers won't need a picture identification or boarding pass to get on an airplane.

Some airlines are now testing high-tech ways to identify you, including eye scans, facial recognition and fingerprints.

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It sounds like science fiction, but if they work, flyers could see them at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Delta said, "We're rapidly moving toward a day when your fingerprint, iris or face will become the only ID you'll need."


The airline is looking to use fingerprints at Reagan National in Washington D.C. to allow travelers access to its lounge. If that works, Delta said it plans to use prints for checking bags or even boarding flights.


Delta is also testing facial recognition software in Minneapolis. British Airways is doing the same in London. JetBlue is trying facial recognition on its Boston-Aruba route.

"You'll take your picture. Within a few seconds, you'll get a check mark and you can proceed to board. You never need to show your passport at the gate and you don't need to show your boarding pass,” said JetBlue executive vice president Joanna Geraghty.


Airports in England, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are using eye scans, but haven't completely done away with picture identifications and boarding passes.

Some passengers said they like the idea of doing away with boarding passes.

"I think it's probably a cool thing coming up," passenger Tabitha Yates said.

But others aren't so sure.

Bonita Carr Graham said, "I think it's creepy."

"I think it's getting a little too personal," her uncle, Bernard Carr, added. "I guess I'm just old school, you know, the old-fashioned way."

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