Passengers travelling from London Stansted airport will start using a new hi-tech boarding pass system this week. From Monday 22nd April the new £1.2 million 'smart access' scanners will replace the manual boarding pass check-points.
Passengers will scan their boarding pass barcode at the self service machines, to confirm they are travelling on the right flight and date. The system has been likened to the oyster travel card barriers on the London Underground.
It's part of a plan to make the departure process smoother. Neil Banks, Stansted Airport's Terminal Manager, promised; "The introduction of the new Smart Access system will make it quicker and simpler for passengers to reach the departure lounge. Stansted is already one of the most efficient and easy to use airport terminals but we want to make it even better and create a great airport experience for the thousands of passengers travelling through every day."
There is a special entrance for those with reduced mobility such as wheelchair users. Much like train and tube station barriers, there are also wider gates for travellers with pushchairs.
A user guide was made available online ahead of the launch, to help Stansted passengers make the transition. The fact sheet outlined the basics of using the new gates plus answered potential questions like "What if I'm carrying a large musical instrument?"
The scanners will not replace security checks and there will also be staff on hand to help at gates. If it proves a success at Stansted, other UK airports are likely to follow suit.