EVA Air, Taiwan’s second largest carrier, has joined the US Customs Border Protection’s biometrics exit programme. Passengers departing San Francisco on the Star Alliance member now have the option to board simply by scanning their faces.
Biometrics can speed up the boarding process and reduce close contact with staff, said the airline. However, infants and passengers requiring special assistance will not be able to avail of the new service, according to Focus Taiwan.
Currently deployed at 20 US airports, the biometrics exit programme securely matches travellers’ faces with their passport or visa photo, according to the CBP website. A number of carriers participate in the initiative, including Emirates.
“We are delighted to work with US Customs and Border Protection to help pilot its biometrics exit programme and introduce this convenience to our outbound San Francisco passengers,” said EVA Air in a statement to Business Traveller.
“Our passengers welcome the ease and added safety benefits of the new service. We look forward to working in cooperation with CBP to gradually introduce the biometrics programme conveniences for both outbound and inbound passengers at all six of our US gateways,” the spokesperson added.
EVA Air said it has plans to further extend biometrics to self check-in kiosks, self-service baggage drop offs, lounges, and boarding gates across its network, including at its Taipei hub. This comes amid a broader plan by Star Alliance to roll out biometrics across all airport touchpoints.
Rival China Airlines introduced biometrics boarding, supplemented with manual verification, in New York and San Francisco earlier this year. The Skyteam carrier will also offer the service in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, according to Focus Taiwan.