Skip to Navigation

We’re using biometric technology for some of our flights to speed up your airport experience but in most cases this is a voluntary process and you remain free not to use it.

Biometrics help to verify your identity without checking your physical documents at each stage of the journey. We do this by capturing your photo at touchpoints such as check-in, bag drop, security and boarding.

In some cases, we may also share your biometrics with authorities in your departure and/or destination countries to confirm your identity.


How do I enrol to use biometrics?

There is no need to enrol into the service before you travel. Each time you fly you will have a new opportunity to use the biometric technology and will be asked to consent to that at that time as detailed further below.

In the future we plan to offer an enrolled biometric service that will further improve your travel experience.


Is use of biometrics voluntary?

Unless use of biometrics is required by law, your use of biometrics is voluntary and requires your consent (or where required under applicable law your explicit consent) so that we can process your data.

You provide that consent each time you pass through biometric touchpoints, and you can withdraw your consent at any time.

We will provide signs to inform you of the use of biometrics at the first and subsequent touchpoints.

We will indicate if this includes sharing your biometrics with authorities in your departure and/or destination countries to confirm your entitlement to travel.

You can use our non-biometric touchpoints if you prefer.


When is use of biometrics compulsory?

In locations where the use of biometrics is legally required you may have to use biometric services to be able to travel.

  • UK domestic and ‘Common Travel Area’ flights
    Some of the airports we operate from, such as London Heathrow and Manchester, use biometrics for UK domestic and Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) flights as it is a legal requirement if passengers and international passengers are able to access the same departure lounge within the airport. The biometric service is operated by the airport.
  • International flights outside of the UK
    n some locations outside the UK the use of biometrics identification at the airport may be compulsory.
    If we are operating that biometric system we will provide information where that occurs.
    If the biometric system is operated by the airport or authorities (or both) in that location it is the airport or authorities who are responsible for informing you about the use of biometrics in accordance with locally applicable law.

Who will my biometric data be shared with?

In addition to the technology partners and airports who are involved in delivering biometric services, data is shared as set out below:

  • UK domestic and ‘Common Travel Area’ flights
    The biometric service is operated by the airport and they share the information with the UK Border Force.
  • Flights to the US from the UK (including via Shannon Airport)
    This use of biometrics is currently voluntary. The touchpoint takes your photo and transfers it to US Customs and Border Protection who use it to check your identity. Learn more about how this process works.


What data do we store and how long for?

If you use the biometric service we take a photo and extract biometric data. We then match it against another photo when you present yourself at another touchpoint.

If you use biometric touchpoints without being enrolled into a biometric service, we will delete the photo and related biometric data within 48 hours of the scheduled flight arrival. After that we hold anonymised transactional data in relation to your use of the service to enable to us to improve the biometric technology.

In some cases that extraction and matching process is performed by a third party such as on flights to the US when it is performed by the US Customs and Border Protection. Learn more about how this process works and the period data is retained for by third parties.


Additional information and questions

Learn more about how we protect your data in our Privacy Policy.

If you have any questions about your use of biometrics please contact