Boarding a flight with an NFC implant

Update: This is just an experiment with no plans of actual public implementation. SAS has provided NFC tags to EuroBonus Gold members for a long time. The tag contains only the EuroBonus ID, in an encrypted format. Only SAS can write valid EuroBonus ID data to NFC tags. When traveling, you are always required to provide a valid ID when requested.

A few weeks ago I had an NFC chip implanted into my hand, just beneath the skin. While I am certainly not the first person to have an NFC implant, I am probably one of the first travelers to pass through Stockholm Arlanda airport, through security, at the lounge, and finally through the gate to the aircraft, using only the chip in my hand.

My NFC chip contains my Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus member ID, and since the airport has NFC readers all the way from security to the gate, I can use the chip instead of ordinary boarding passes.

In the video below, you can check out how it went at the airport, and you can also meet Massimo Pascotto, working with innovation at SAS, and listen in on a conversation we had about the experiment. At the end of the video, you can see how the actual procedure went. Viewer discretion is advised.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 13.28.35


The NFC kit I use is from Dangerous Things. Don’t miss the TEDxSFU talk by the founder, Amal Graafstra.

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6 Responses to Boarding a flight with an NFC implant

  1. Bjarte Sørensen January 9, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Can you give details on how you did this?

  2. Andreas Sjostrom January 9, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    The NFC tag contains my EuroBonus ID in an encrypted format. Only SAS can write valid EuroBonus IDs to NFC tags. This is an experiment with no plans of public implementation. I updated the post to reflect this.

  3. Roman Egger January 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

    Dear Andreas,
    thank you for this experiment. A topic I am quite interested in (a student of mine currently writes a MA-Theis about “Technological Embodiment in Tourism – a future perspective….

    but what I would be interested in now is: the injection is quite clear, but how do you remove the tag? Do you need to cut it out? Which is for sure a much more “messy” task..
    would be great to get in touch with you
    Salzburg University of Applied Sciences – Head Division eTourism

  4. Andreas Sjostrom January 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    Hi, Roman! The removal procedure is easy but should be performed by a medical professional. You only need a minor cut, a few millimetres, to pull it out. As you probably are aware, female birth control implants are five times larger than the NFC inplant and inserting/removing those are done everywhere and all the time. That said, you should always be very cautious with every procedure and never take any unnescessary risks. For me, this is just a temporary experiment. As sensors go smarter, it will make more sense to go through this. The value of inserting just a simple NFC chip, when you already have such a chip in your phone, is too low to go through with this in a broad implementation. But once the chip starts to measure things like temp, pulse, pressure, blood sugar… and can communicate, then it starts to make sense, but then obviously more in terms of fitness/health than in tourism, probably… 🙂


  1. MobileViews Blog :: MobileViews Podcast 144: Interview with Andreas Sjöström – used an implanted NFC chip to board a plane - January 18, 2016

    […] podcast I (Todd Ogasawara) interview Andreas Sjöström who recently posted a video to YouTube and blog about how he had an NFC chip implanted under his skin and used to board a Scandinavian Airlines flight in […]

  2. SAS giver deres bud om fremtidens teknologi på rejsen - InsideFlyer DK - May 30, 2016

    […] Der har også været en mindre test, hvor en testperson i samarbejde med SAS, fik indsat en NFC chip under huden, Dette gjorde at testpersonen kunne bruge dette, og ikke skulle have et “Smart Pass”, Smart Phone eller et Boarding kort for at komme fra igennem lufthavnen (dette var kun en test, men mon ikke vi ser noget ligende i fremtiden). Se mere til dette forsøg i denne video eller læs hans blog post her. […]

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