This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

From London to Shanghai to Singapore, facial recognition is beginning its journey to become a more common part of the boarding process. Closer to home, Delta recently launched the first biometric terminal in the US, while the technology has infiltrated certain parts of airports in Orlando, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

A passenger approaches a facial recognition gate at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
A passenger approaches a facial recognition gate at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

This week, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) formally launched a pilot for boarding by means of facial recognition. The news follows a KLM test at the airport some two years ago, with Cathay Pacific stepping up to the plate this time around.

Per the airport, this trial “belongs to the first phase of fully enabling travel by means of facial recognition at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the longer term.”

Here’s an overview of how things will work.

After check-in, participants in the pilot will be accompanied to one of the special registration kiosks. The passengers will have their passport, boarding pass and face scanned here. This process will be followed by security and passport control, as always. When boarding, the passenger’s face will be scanned at the gate. The scan will be compared with the one produced when registering. If the face is recognised, the gate will open and the passenger will be able to board immediately, resulting in greater convenience for the passenger and a smoother flow at the airport.

At present, you still need to show your passport, your boarding pass or both at various checkpoints within the airport; for example, when you drop off your baggage, during security checks, when you cross the border and during boarding.

According to Wilma van Dijk, Director of Safety and Security at Schiphol, you will be able to pass through these checkpoints more smoothly due to being recognized by your face in the future, leaving your passport and boarding pass “tucked away in your bag.”

During the months ahead, scanning faces, passports and boarding passes will be tested on registration and during boarding. In the next phase, this list is intended to be expanded with passport control over the course of the year. There’s no mention of whether initial photos are deleted once the boarding process is complete, or which entity is responsible for the safe-keeping of those images.

All photos courtesy of Schiphol. 

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.