Air New Zealand passengers were among the first to use facial recognition to pass through the boarding gate at LAX last week.
Before entering the United States, customers could register with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using their “biometric data,” which was not shared with the airline.
This was then used to verify their identities at automated airport kiosks at the airport.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Nikhil Ravishankar said: “We’ve heard from customers that they want a hassle-free airport experience and technology is a key enabler. According to IATA, more than 75 percent of customers see great value in biometric verification and want to use it instead of passports and boarding passes.
“The feedback from more than 1000 customers who have used this technology to board our flights has been really positive.”
“The contactless technology changes are coming fast and we continue to learn and adapt to new innovations that will make travel easier. In the new age of travel, we need simplicity over complexity.”
Air New Zealand customers will be able to use the technology in San Francisco next, followed by the airline’s other US airports.
Australian Aviation reported last month how passengers traveling on select Singapore Airlines flights out of Perth can now use facial recognition technology instead of a traditional boarding pass.
The futuristic technology also eliminates the need for passport control at both baggage claim and the boarding gate, which the company hopes will reduce delays.
The airport recently converted 16 traditional check-in counters at International Terminal T1 into 36 self-check-in kiosks and added 16 more “Auto Bag Drops”. Each of these new systems has biometric processing capabilities.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said in October that the new technology would both improve security and speed up passenger processing.
“Passenger experience is paramount and this technology will allow us to serve more passengers at a higher level, supporting the growth of our airport,” said Brown.
The trail is looking for volunteer passengers to check in at one of the biometric kiosks. The kiosks ask the passenger to create a biometric token that verifies their booking details, facial image and passport.
When the passenger proceeds to the automated bag drop, they are identified using facial recognition, eliminating the need for a physical boarding pass.
The same happens when the passenger boards the plane, a facial recognition camera confirms their identity.