If you are flying to the USA from Dubai International Airport, biometric boarding is possible. We will describe here exactly how this works.
Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport
At the moment it is still the case that you need a boarding card to be able to board an aircraft. You can get this printed out at check-in, or you can also have it sent to your smartphone. But the Emirate of Dubai is very modern and always wants to offer passengers the latest on the market. Biometric boarding is brand new at the moment and the boarding card is no longer required there. Of course, this is now also offered in Dubai and how this works exactly and at which flight destinations you can find out in this article. A big advantage is certainly that this works much faster.
An Emirates counter in Terminal 3
It’s very easy and where you normally always showed your boarding pass, there is now a small device with a camera in it. All you have to do is look inside and the photo is compared in real-time with the CBP database. This process usually takes a maximum of two seconds and then you can go through the barrier and enter the aircraft. Now you are probably wondering what kind of database that is. The answer is that it is a U.S. agency database. Customs and Border Protection acts.
When entering the USA, as is well known, biometric data is recorded from every passenger, such as fingerprints and a photo. This photo is then compared with the person who wants to board the aircraft during biometric boarding. This saves a lot of time there and the barcode on the boarding pass no longer needs to be scanned. Furthermore, you don’t have to show them anymore, which is very practical. But you should definitely keep this ready because the seat is also noted there. It may well be that someone sat down wrong on the plane.
If you take the photos when entering the US, then wearers of glasses must always remove them. This is no longer necessary for biometric boarding and you can leave your glasses on. But it is also possible that you have to take it off anyway if, for example, there are problems with scanning the photo. But usually, the system is so advanced that this is no longer necessary. With such a scan, numerous data from the face are checked where a person can be clearly recognized. It doesn’t matter if you put on glasses or not.
There are of course passengers who have never been to the USA and biometric boarding is not available for them. The reason is that there is no photo in the CBP database that could be compared. Furthermore, this is also the case if you have not been in the USA for a long time. The photo must be up-to-date in any case to be able to use this service. In this case, the passengers are checked manually and you still need the traditional boarding card. So you should always take good care of this because it may still be needed.
Emirates | Boeing 787
Biometric boarding in Dubai is only possible for flights to the USA and no other destinations. Especially with the Emirates Airbus A380, this is very useful because you can get on the plane faster. Emirates Airline currently flies to around 12 destinations in the USA. However, it may be that this service is not yet available to all. But this should be available for all destinations by the end of the year. The gates still have to be retrofitted with a camera so that this works.
Nowadays, data protection also plays a very important role. For biometric boarding, some data must be compared with the person who wants to board the aircraft. The airline does not store any data and these are only compared with the CBP database, which is located in the USA. If you don’t want to use this service, you still have the option of showing your normal boarding pass. But if this works well in the future and is accepted by passengers then there will certainly only be one solution. That is certainly still a transition period of a few years where two options are offered.
You don’t need to register at all to use this service. But it is of course necessary that you have been to the USA before, where you then took a photo upon entry. If this is not available, then biometric boarding cannot be used, which is logical. Furthermore, if you haven’t been to the USA for maybe ten years then this won’t work because the photo is too old. A new one would then have to be made there and this service can then be used on the next entry.
Of course, there are always many passengers who are suspicious when it comes to new technology that is available. As already mentioned, you don’t need to use biometric boarding if you don’t want to. There is still the option of showing your boarding pass to gain access to the aircraft. But as already mentioned, this will certainly be available for a few more years and then with a high probability, we will only give it one option.
In any case, biometric boarding can save you a lot of time. Since the airline Emirates only uses large aircraft, this also makes a lot of sense. One advantage is that you no longer have to show your boarding pass. But as already mentioned, you still have to keep it well, of course, because it may still be needed.