Eurostar: St Pancras International station facial verification system introduced

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Passengers will need to use an app before travel to scan their identity document and verify their face and ticket.

Some Eurostar passengers travelling from London can avoid queues for ticket and UK border exit checks due to a new facial verification system.

The company says the technology at St Pancras International station aims to reduce congestion and queues.

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The rollout began on Tuesday (July 18) and the system is available to Business Premier and Carte Blanche passengers.

Passengers will need to use an app before travel to scan their identity document and verify their face and ticket.

The new system enables Eurostar passengers to expedite pre-boarding processes at the station by proceeding through a dedicated SmartCheck corridor with its walk-past facial biometric checkpoint.

Bags will still be scanned by security staff and French border officials will check passports.

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Some Eurostar passengers will be able to check in using a facial verification systemSome Eurostar passengers will be able to check in using a facial verification system
Some Eurostar passengers will be able to check in using a facial verification system | Getty Images

Eurostar said it would like to make the new technology - a first for UK rail travel - available to more customers in future, if it proves successful.

The company said that while the system, called SmartCheck, is only in use at St Pancras, it could be introduced more widely across the Eurostar network in mainland Europe.

Gwendoline Cazenave, Eurostar Group’s CEO, said: “Providing a seamless station experience to our customers is a priority for Eurostar. We continue looking for solutions to increase capacity in stations and simplify the passengers’ flows.

“SmartCheck in St Pancras International station is a solution for a faster and seamless check-in experience. By introducing SmartCheck, we become the first rail travel operator to adopt biometric face verification. This innovation will enhance our customer departure journey, which is crucial to provide Eurostar’s unique travel experience.”

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