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Passengers at Athens Airport can use their faces as their boarding pass

Passengers at Athens Airport can use their faces as their boarding pass

Old Apr 10, 19, 5:39 am
  #1  
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Passengers at Athens Airport can use their faces as their boarding pass

Passengers at Athens Airport can use their faces as their boarding pass

Passengers flying with Aegean Airlines from Athens International Airport are being offered a faster, more efficient journey through the airport by merely scanning their face at check-in and at security points.

Athens Airport has become the first airport in Europe to trial SITA Smart Path, a unique solution where passengers can use their facial biometrics to identify themselves at key steps in the journey without having to show their passport or boarding card.

When arriving at Athens Airport to check in, passengers who utilize the trial service, scan their passport and have their photo taken. Once completed, passengers can then proceed to security where they can quickly be verified as a known traveler – without having to show a boarding pass. Passengers simply have their face scanned and then are offered a fast track through security.

Alexandros Ziomas, Acting Director, IT&T Business Unit at Athens International Airport, said: “Passengers really appreciate the ease of using SITA’s Smart Path trial. It has reduced the time taken to check in and verify passenger identity at security to only a few seconds. It will solve a key challenge for us by ensuring a steady flow of passengers to the security area. This is a service we would like to extend to other steps in the journey over time.”

A key benefit of Smart Path is that its technology integrates with the airport's existing common-use check-in kiosks and boarding gates, making the solution both cost-effective and available to multiple airlines. Smart Path can also be tailored to an airport’s or airline’s specific requirements, allowing Athens Airport to offer this service to other airlines in future, including Aegean’s Star Alliance partners.

https://www.asmag.com/showpost/28099.aspx#.XKjK480HqHY
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Old Apr 11, 19, 2:43 am
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Hmmm... reduced time to identify passengers at security to just a few seconds? Well, all that you do now is scan your boarding card in an automatic reader - there's no ID check. It sounds to me like this will actually take longer and is an excuse to make the 'sheep' feel safer with more plastic-security. And how can it possibly make check-in quicker? I can't actually see it being implemented at boarding - which is where the REAL bottleneck is. Sometimes I think we're guilty of technology for the sake of it. Waving a small piece of card or the screen of your smartphone under a reader works just fine. Of course, those who favour conspiricies might point out that this allows for all sorts of closer tracking, monitoring or controlling of people's movements. I'm sure there are politicians salivating at the thought of being able to photograph every single airline passenger. Just saying...

The only other practical use of such a system I'm aware of is in T5 at Heathrow where they use facial recognition (but not biometric afaik) to allow international and domestic passengers to mix in the same terminal area. Now if they could use this to do away with the whole A/B Gates mess, that WOULD be an advantage that would save a lot of time, space and extra staff!

I've mixed feelings about the fact that they will 'bribe' people to use this system by offering fast track. It's a nice bonus for those who don't already use it (initially at least), but it will make it slower for those of us who have earned the right through status.
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Last edited by Knobbgb; Apr 11, 19 at 3:02 am
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Old Apr 11, 19, 2:59 am
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Creepy
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Old Apr 11, 19, 6:02 am
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I saw a poster about this at ATH when I was there last month. It's also being implemented at other airports, e.g. in China, India, Korea and the US.

I think people are already being tracked by facial recognition in many places and it's going to get worse. The main problem with this in airports is for multiple citizens, especially if you don't need to show a passport at boarding any more.
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Old Apr 11, 19, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
Hmmm... reduced time to identify passengers at security to just a few seconds? Well, all that you do now is scan your boarding card in an automatic reader - there's no ID check.
Maybe I am wrong, but I believe this will in fact slow down the process. People having to step in, look at the right camera spot, remove their glasses and hats, etc... I can't see this taking less than the -literally- 4 secs it takes for the average traveller to scan their BP.

Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
It's a nice bonus for those who don't already use it (initially at least), but it will make it slower for those of us who have earned the right through status.
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I guess that there will be a separate priority line for that. Or there should be, otherwise it will practically annul fast track. If everyone can use that, the queue there will be no shorter that the standard security queues. Imagine what would happen in summer peak days. Plus that airlines will complain if they pay the airport for priority security check for their biz/Gold pax, and then they don't get it...

Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
I'm sure there are politicians salivating at the thought of being able to photograph every single airline passenger. Just saying...
If this is true, then I am surprised​​ that politicians in Sweden haven't implemented that already
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Old Apr 11, 19, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by East_and_West View Post
Maybe I am wrong, but I believe this will in fact slow down the process. People having to step in, look at the right camera spot, remove their glasses and hats, etc... I can't see this taking less than the -literally- 4 secs it takes for the average traveller to scan their BP.​​​​​
This is true. If it's anything like passport control at LHR, the machine will not always accept the passenger. Sometimes it can take several attempts, only to be directed to the manual check. I was told by a border officer that the machine can't always read the face correctly if you've grown a few days of stubble. Happy days ahead!
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Old Apr 14, 19, 5:00 am
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While I initially had the same feelings, it seems that tests with this technology have been very effective:

https://simpleflying.com/lufthansa-a...-boarding/amp/
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Old Apr 14, 19, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
While I initially had the same feelings, it seems that tests with this technology have been very effective:

https://simpleflying.com/lufthansa-a...-boarding/amp/
I was on one of these flights in 2018. They gave us no advance notice that we would be boarding this way. I guess the facial recognition system uses the data from our passport (they never took my photo at security, check-in or anywhere else).

I remember passengers thinking this was creepy af, but at the same time it was indeed super fast to board.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:51 am
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Look at you, ATH, at the forefront of the Big Brother state...You would think that Greece with its history and a leftist government would be the last to adopt this, not the first...
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Last edited by nk15; Apr 20, 19 at 9:37 am
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Old Apr 20, 19, 9:05 am
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Whether they scan one's BC or the face of a traveller, they already know who's going where with which airline, etc. Let's not exagerate with personal data as is the case in Greece compared to most other European countries...
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Old Apr 21, 19, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by headingwest View Post
This is true. If it's anything like passport control at LHR, the machine will not always accept the passenger. Sometimes it can take several attempts, only to be directed to the manual check. I was told by a border officer that the machine can't always read the face correctly if you've grown a few days of stubble. Happy days ahead!
Different officers say different things, which can contradict each other. As seen in several threads the UK and Ireland forum, some people's British passports work flawlessly elsewhere in Europe but not in the UK, some work in the UK but not elsewhere in Europe, some never work, some officers claim it is a chip problem but the passport office says that it isn't.

In my personal experience, mine always had problems in the UK (sometimes it would work after 20 seconds, sometimes it would reject after 20 seconds) until I had a word with the fuzz, after which it always works within 2 seconds of insertion. My wife's used to work 80% of the time and now works 20% of the time, but she has been scolded by an officer for "inserting it wrong" despite doing nothing different, the next time the officer claimed her photo didn't look exactly like her any more, and then the next time the officer said the computer automatically rejects 5% of people at random. Who to believe??
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Old Apr 21, 19, 11:16 am
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They are going to test the same system in Singaporian borders in johor in order to skip passport stamping and reduce check times. I think it will relief somehow the long waiting lines in summer high season
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Old Apr 22, 19, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
Look at you, ATH, at the forefront of the Big Brother state...You would think that Greece with its history and a leftist government would be the last to adopt this, not the first...
They are often the worse examples. Anyway when you sign up to a supermarket points card or airline FF program you are being tracked by both that company and the governments .
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