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Two European airports will let you board a flight without showing your passport

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‘Safe, simple and fast’ (Picture: Getty Images)

You might agonise over what to pack for your summer holiday, but your passport is the number one item you absolutely cannot forget… right?

Well, not necessarily.

Two airports in Italy are trialling a new system that could mean you no longer need that all-important document to get through security.

FaceBoarding is a facial recognition technology, designed by French IT Company Thales, which means you can pass through the various checkpoints just by showing your face.

The futuristic new equipment is said to be ‘safe, simple and fast’ and ‘allows you to proceed more smoothly and efficiently simply.’

Launching at Milan’s Linate Airport and Catania Airport in Sicily, it’s currently available for passengers flying with ITA Airways and Scandinavian Airlines.

You might spot the kiosks if you’re heading to Milan this summer (Picture: Getty Images)

And it really does sound pretty straight forward. After checking in online or at the airport, there are designated kiosks where passengers can register for FaceBoarding. By June, there is also an app promised which means you could do this step at home.

You can register for one flight – or for every flight you take during the course of the trial, until December 2025.

You then scan your passport and boarding pass, as well as your face. There are then separate FaceBoarding lanes at each security check.

The only caveats are that you have to be an adult passenger, and the passport or document you use must hold a biometric passport (the ones with a chip in that you scan at ePassport Gates.)

And, a word of warning: this doesn’t mean you can leave your passport at home. You will still need to carry identification – including your passport and boarding pass – through the airport to catch your flight.



What are the new EU travel rules?

Many British holidaymakers are unaware of changes happening this year to the way we travel to EU countries.

The Entry/Exit Scheme (EES) will come in tandem with us needing to buy a visa waiver to visit EU and Schengen countries.

EES is an automated system to register travellers from non-EU countries every time they cross a border into or out of the EU. 

The system will register the person’s name, the type of travelling document they’re using, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images), and the date and place of entry and exit. 

As a result of the UK voting to leave the European Union, Brits will have to follow these rules.

You will have to scan your passport at an automated self-service kiosk before crossing the border.

This process will replace the manual stamping of passports for visitors to countries in the EU and Schengen Area, who are not themselves nationals of EU or Schengen countries. 

The exact date for both changes is still to be confirmed.

If you’re not travelling to Italy this year – but still want a quick airport experience – there’s another little known hack that’s being trialled in London.

Heathrow Airport’s TimeSlot initiative allows you to schedule when you go through security.

You can pick your timeslot a few days before your trip, you then get sent a QR code and, once at the airport, you make your way to the specific signposted area in Heathrow, which allows you to jump the queue.

Not only that, but it’s free of charge, and can be booked for groups of up to five people.

The latest timeslot you can book is 90 minutes before a long-haul flight, and 60 minutes before a short-haul flight.

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