If you’re flying out of Tampa this week, you might see something new as you get ready to board your flight. Biometric screening is something all airports are going to have by 2024. But Tampa International has them now, replacing the traditional boarding pass scanners.
How does it work?
When you walk up to the gate, the scanner takes a photo of you. It compares the photo to what’s on your passport photo that’s on file. It also checks for things like your name to make sure it matches up with who’s booked for that flight. Once you’re cleared, you walk in and sensors prevent anyone from trying to piggyback their way in with you.
Is it faster?
According to the Tampa International website, a plane carrying 130 passengers boards 3 to 4 times faster. The scanners helped speed things up from about 30-40 minutes to 11 minutes.
So far there are only 8 of the machines ready to go but they say more are on the way. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has make it a rule that all international flights will need these biometric scanners by 2024. They’ll also be used on the ground and for cruise ships. The agency was formed two years after the events of 9/11.