A $1-million lawsuit filed by a 71-year-old man who was pushed to the ground by a United Airlines employee in 2015 was preceded by an argument over the boarding pass. Although the news report did not provide details about the problem with the boarding pass, this document could be the source of the delay in a passenger’s departure.

Boarding passes can be lost, misplaced, stolen, mutilated or simply forgotten at home. All these problems could be addressed if paperwork is eliminated. The Transport Security Administration (TSA) is experimenting with using fingerprints in lieu of boarding passes.

Trials in two airports

The TSA will pilot test the use of fingerprints this week at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport and the Denver International Airport, the agency said in a press release. It will scan the fingerprints of volunteer TSA Pre-check passengers at the two gateways.

The experiment is proof of concept demonstration. TSA wants to evaluate the operational and security impact on the use of biometrics to verify the identity of air travelers with their fingerprints. The security agency will match the fingerprints of the passengers provided at the checkpoint with records of the TSA for people who enrolled in the TSA Pre-check application program.

Only a trial

The passengers in the two international airports, however, will still need to show their boarding passes and identity documents because the program is only on a trial, Mashable reported.

It would be in addition to having their fingerprints scanned before they will be allowed to board their planes.

By having the program in a pilot stage, the TSA will first assess the accuracy of the fingerprint scanning technology before the agency implements it on a wider scale. The aim of the TSA is to reinvent and improve security effectiveness to address the growing and evolving threats and ensure the travelers reach their destinations safely, Steve Karoly, the acting assistant administrator of TSA, said.

Even passengers who did not apply to the TSA Pre-check application program are also invited to use the system. The agency said that having more users will provide valuable information to the TSA during the program’s proof of concept stage.

The technology adds to innovations introduced over the past few years to do away with the boarding pass, such as the use of text messages on mobile phones and self-service boarding pass systems found in modern airports.