JetBlue testing facial recognition technology for boarding in Boston

Facial recognition experiments are all the rage these days with airlines.

One of the four new self-service bag drop machines Delta Air Lines  rolled out recently at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is testing facial recognition technology that can match customers with their passport photos.

At Helsinki Airport, Finnair just concluded a several week test of face recognition technology for check-in.

And today JetBlue announced it is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA (a global provider of IT and border security solutions) to test a new system that uses biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate.

The program will start in June on flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport and anyone can participate without prior registration.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Passengers step up to the camera for a quick photo.
  • The camera station connects to CBP instantly match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database;
  • Flight details are verified.
  • The customer is notified on a screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge.

“We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way.”

 

 

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