United launches passport scanning app

7 Aug 2014 by Clement Huang

United Airlines (UA) has added a new feature to its mobile app that scans passports and lets passengers check in for international flights up to 24-hours before departure.

The app utilises the camera function of mobile devices to capture an image of the passport in a similar fashion to that seen in many mobile banking deposit services. Jumio Inc., a credentials management company, then verifies the passport for security before sending confirmation. The process takes roughly 2-3 minutes.

An e-boarding pass will be provided once the verification process is complete, meaning that customers will be able to bypass the kiosk at the airport. However, for those who require additional travel documentation, such as visas, they will still have to go through the traditional check-in process at the airport.

Passport scans are stored securely within the app, and can be reused again in the future.

The nifty function is available on both iOS and Android mobile devices and has already attracted much praise from passengers.

One user of the popular aviation forum Flyertalk stated: “I definitely think the United App continues to beat the competition hands down in terms of information available and functionality”.

Another user expressed delight that the updated mobile app would save many travellers time at the airport: “Personally, I'm getting tired of going to the airport extra early [as] I can't get a boarding pass for my international flight because they need to scan my passport for the tenth time”.

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Clement Huang

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