Cathay Pacific: Trial on travelling with facial recognition

If you travel with Cathay Pacific in 2019, you will be able to take part in a trial on boarding with facial recognition at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. In this case, you will no longer have to show your boarding pass at the gate. Simply board the aircraft via a separate gate that will identify you through facial recognition. The trial forms part of a series of tests to make travelling with facial recognition a reality at Schiphol.

How does boarding with facial recognition work?

When checking in, you may be asked whether you would like to participate in the trial. If so, a member of staff will accompany you to the special registration kiosks in the departure hall. Here, you will scan your passport and boarding pass, as well as your face. You will then proceed through security and passport control as usual. Once it is your turn to board at the gate, you will use the gate on the right-hand side, with facial recognition technology. The camera will scan your face and compare the result to the scan that was taken at the registration kiosk. If your face is recognised, the gate will open and you will be able to board the aircraft.

Who can take part?

Participation in the trial on travelling with facial recognition is voluntary. You are eligible to take part if you:

  • are travelling with Cathay Pacific;
  • are 16 years or older;
  • have been issued a biometric passport, recognisable by the chip icon on the front.

Why are we conducting this trial?

We are keen to use innovations such as this one in order to make your journey through Schiphol more convenient. At present, you still need to show your passport, your boarding card or both at the various checkpoints within the airport; for example, when you drop off your baggage, at the entrance of the security check, when you cross the border and during boarding. In future, you will be able to pass through these checkpoints more smoothly due to being recognised by your face. As a result, your passport and boarding pass can stay tucked away in your bag.

Airlines, the government and Schiphol are working together to make this new way of travelling possible in future. To this end, we are first carrying out extensive testing.

Your privacy

Your privacy is a major concern for us and of course we will treat your personal details with the utmost confidentiality.

This trial

This registration kiosk will make a scan of your face so you can board with face recognition on this journey.
The trial for boarding with facial recognition consists of 2 steps:

  1. In the departure hall, you register at the registration kiosk.
  2. At the gate, you use the separate row for face recognition to board. This row can be recognised by the banner and kiosk with the icon for face recognition (see top of this screen).

Your data

If you take part in this trail, you give permission to process your passport data, boarding pass data and your face scan. Your data will only be processed for the purpose to participate in this trial. All biometric data will automatically be deleted after 24 hours after scanning your face at the registration kiosk.

All partners

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, Cathay Pacific and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol work together on this trail. This is done according to legal rules and on the basis of detailed agreements in areas such as privacy and security.

Further information

If you have any questions, please send an email to If you have participated in the trial, you can also use this email address to let us know about your experience. We would appreciate that very much.