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Lufthansa goes biometric

Thumb scan check-in trial

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German airline Lufthansa and Siemens are testing fingerprint-based check-in and boarding procedures at Frankfurt Airport.

After getting tickets encoded with their thumbprint data, passengers can check themselves in by placing their thumbs on a machine.

The trial, called Trusted Traveler, will last for 14 days, but if all goes well, Lufthansa plans to roll out the system in 2006 for frequent fliers on a voluntary basis. The idea is to make airport handling processes faster, more secure and more efficient. Biometric procedures in air traffic control could be made mandatory by EU directive in the future. ®

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