British Airways has become the first UK airline to trial the use of biometric technology for international flights.
This will allow you to pass through Heathrow without showing your passport, with your face scanned on boarding and matched to an image stored on file.
The technology has been in use on domestic flights since 2017 with passenger scans taken at security and checked during boarding.
How does it work?
During the trial, selected passengers (Heathrow Terminal 5 only) will be emailed in advance with an invitation.
You will need to scan your face, passport and boarding pass on your smartphone before you arrive at the airport.
Smart Bio-Pod cameras will verify your identity within three seconds instead of having to show your passport.
You will, of course, still need to have your passport with you to show on arrival and at UK immigration on your return.
And there’s a bribe ….
To encourage passengers to take part, those who agree will receive Fast Track security and priority boarding for their flight.
Which routes are involved?
The trial is initially limited to the Malaga route. It will last for six months, before a decision is taken on whether to fully roll it out.
To quote ….
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. 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”
“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.”
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.