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End of the boarding pass? TSA's new test will mean faster check-ins

End of the boarding pass? TSA's new test will mean faster check-ins
© Diego Vito Cervo | Dreamstime.com -

If you love to travel, this is great news. You're soon going to be speeding through the airport so much faster than you do now.

Life in the 21st Century is fast, right? We can download movies to our smartphones in minutes.

We can instantly video chat with friends halfway around the world, where it used to take days for a letter to get there. Yet, just think about the last time you were in an airport.

Screech! Life in the 21st Century slows down to a crawl.

You wait in line for a half-hour or longer to check your bags. Then, you wait at least an hour to get through security checkpoints. And don't even get started with customs. That can take hours!

Which is why we know you'll be extremely happy to hear about an innovation from the TSA. Of course, the TSA is best known these days for doing things that no one likes, such as patting down passengers.

However, this innovation you'll like because it will save all of us a lot of time. The TSA is taking the first step toward eliminating boarding passes. Instead, they'll use biometrics to quickly check you in and get you on your plane.

They've begun testing using fingerprints instead of boarding passes. Your fingerprint will be your boarding pass information and your ID, so you won't have to hand over your driver's license. You'll place your finger on a fingerprint reader, just like you do to unlock your smartphone.

The test has begun at Atlanta's Hartsfield–Jackson Airport and Denver International Airport. If the test is successful, this will spread to other airports around the country.

Note: During the test, travelers using biometric check-in will still have to present their boarding pass and ID.

This is an extension of the TSA's Precheck program. For $179 a year, you can sign up to go through security faster than other people. You have to provide the TSA with some information about yourself to be accepted into the program. That includes your fingerprints.

Many airlines are supporting the idea of replacing boarding passes with fingerprints. Plus, JetBlue and Delta are already taking things one step further. The airlines are testing facial-recognition technology to recognize passengers when you arrive at the airport.

Can you imagine just showing up at the airport and walking directly to the gate?

Bonus: 3 mistakes to avoid while traveling

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