Airline Testing Facial Recognition Technology For Loading Passengers
The boarding process can be agonizingly slow, like cold catsup pouring out of a bottle.
But Lufthansa Group is looking to dramatically speed up this aspect of air travel using facial recognition technology it appears to be working at first glance, so to speak.
It recently used what is called one-step biometric boarding, utilizing facial recognition during tests at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and boarded 350 passengers onto an A380 in about 20 minutes.
Here is how it works:
• Self-boarding gates with sophisticated facial recognition cameras capture passengers’ facial images as they approach the device
• This image is securely sent to the CBP database for real-time matching and verification
• After a successful, instantaneous match within a few seconds, the system recognizes the passenger as “boarded”
• The passenger no longer needs to show a boarding pass or passport at the gate
“The increasing need for airlines, airports and authorities to offer faster and more convenient processes for guests to move through the airport creates a unique opportunity for the use of biometrics,” said Bjoern Becker, Senior Director, Product Management Ground and Digital Services for Lufthansa. “Lufthansa strives to enhance the customer experience by applying advanced technologies and innovative solutions. This is a further step towards achieving that goal.”
This pilot program is in collaboration with Lufthansa Group’s longstanding IT partner, Amadeus, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA), and Vision Box, and is now available at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Is this the wave of the future?
“We anticipate that in near time, biometric boarding, as well as other aspects of the air travel experience, will be widely utilized across the U.S. and beyond,” Becker said.