IATA has successfully tested the first fully integrated digital identity travel experience on a journey from London Heathrow (LHR) to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) with British Airways.

The test illustrated the potential for biometrics to enhance the travel experience, from personalised shopping offers and simplified ordering to an improved check-in, security and boarding process at the airport.

“Our vision for future travel is fully digital and secured with biometric identification. While the technology exists to do this at each stage of a journey, linking these steps together has proven challenging. Today with our partners we showed that it is possible. This will open up a world of possibilities for simpler journeys in the future,” said Nick Careen, iata’s senior vice president for operations, safety and security.

The companies involved in the project include Accenture, Amadeus, Australian Border Force, AWS, Branchspace, British Airways, IDnow, Aeroporti di Roma, SICPA, Trip.com, and Verchaska.

“As an airline, we are always innovating and looking at ways to make the customer journey as seamless as possible,” said Dirk John, British Airways chief information and digital officer. “We introduced biometric boarding on selected flights earlier this year and it has been a huge success with positive customer feedback. Working with IATA on enabling a fully integrated travel journey helps us build on that and shows us what could be possible in the future.”

IATA Innovation Lab

The LHR-FCO journey is a ‘Proof of Concept’ developed in the IATA Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab brings together players from across the travel value chain to incubate solutions and test new technologies to overcome industry challenges. The aim is to help the aviation industry generate value as it transitions towards digitalization.

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