Lending a hand with travel

April 03, 1994|By Newsday

Some frequent international travelers are avoiding long lines, breezing through passport control at Newark and New York's JFK airports with a wave of a hand.

They're not even showing their passports thanks to a test program from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that allows machines to verify identity by reading a person's hand geometry. Those enrolled in the free program have the shape and size of their right hand electronically recorded on a plastic card. At the airport, the traveler goes to a designated inspection booth, inserts the card and places the right hand on the hand screen. If the hand matches the data on the card, the traveler passes through.

The program is open to U.S. citizens who make at least three overseas flights a year into the two airports.

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