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SWISS: Goodbye free snacks, hello face recognition

Little bars of 'Schöggeli' will still be handed out for free © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) will stop serving free snacks and drinks on short- and medium-haul flights in economy class. It has also announced that frequent flyers will be able to pass “contactless” through gates and security checks.

This content was published on November 17, 2020 - 15:55
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From spring 2021, the previously free standard snack will no longer be served, SWISS said in a statement on Tuesday. Instead, hungry passengers in economy class will have to buy snacks and drinks on board. Only a small bar of chocolate and a bottle of water will continue to be available free of charge.

“The new concept enables SWISS to put an even stronger emphasis on sustainability, by using eco-friendly products and packaging and by aligning production to demand more closely to minimise food waste disposal,” the airline said.

The change in in-flight catering is happening throughout SWISS’s entire parent company, the Lufthansa Group. Previously, only passengers flying with the group’s companies Brussels Airlines and Eurowings had to pay for their food and drinks on board.

Biometrics

SWISS and Lufthansa are also introducing digital facial recognition for members of the Miles & More frequent flyer programme.

The two airlines will be the first to use Star Alliance Biometrics for selected flights starting in November. Specific infrastructure is being installed at hub airports Frankfurt and Munich, Star Alliance said in a statement.

“Members of the Lufthansa and SWISS Miles & More Frequent Flyer Programme who opt-in to biometrics will be able to pass through both security access and boarding gates in a touchless manner, an important health and hygiene safety measure in times of Covid-19,” it said. Passengers will not have to remove their masks for the biometric identity check.

Participating passengers have to take a selfie, verify their identity with their passport and opt-in to the airlines and airports where they want to use the service. Here is a list of FAQs.

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