American Airlines launches biometric boarding trial at LAX

7 Dec 2018 by Mark Caswell
American Airlines biometric trials

American Airlines has become the latest carrier to launch a biometric boarding trial, with selected customers now able to use facial recognition to verify their identity at Los Angeles International airport.

The 90-day trial is in operation at LAX’s Terminal 4, for customers travelling on selected international departures.

AA said that “When customers begin the boarding process, the facial recognition programme will scan an image of their face and send it to an existing cloud-based CBP database”.

“The system then instantly matches the image against the passport photo already on file with CBP and sends back a yes or no determination on whether they are cleared to board within seconds at the gate.”

The carrier added that “Agents will continue to ensure customers have their passports with them before departing”, and stressed that customers choosing not to take part in the trial may continue to use their boarding pass.

AA said it will use the pilot programme to “evaluate its potential expansion to more flights and locations throughout its global network”.

American Airlines biometric trials

Commenting on the news Suzanne Boda, Senior Vice President of Los Angeles at American, said:

“LAX is American’s gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, making it the perfect location for American to launch biometric boarding.

“The goal of the new technology is to provide a more efficient, modern experience for our customers and team members while enhancing aviation security. That is exactly what we’ve been working to do here in Los Angeles.”

AA is the latest in a line of carriers and airports to launch biometric trials. Earlier this month rival US airline Delta launched “the first end-to-end biometric terminal in the US” at Atlanta airport. Business Traveller was at the event to trial the new technology, and subscribers can read the report here.

Emirates also recently announced what it is referring to as the world’s first “biometric path” at Dubai airport’s Terminal 3, and Heathrow has plans for a new £50 million biometrics project, which it says will see the airport offer “the world’s largest deployment of biometrically enabled products including bag drops and self-boarding gates”.

And back in the US British Airways has been trialing biometric boarding and arrivals technology at airports including LA, Orlando, Miami and JFK.

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