No boarding pass necessary: This airline is launching self-boarding with facial recognition

Rebecca Smith
JetBlue hopes the trial will lead to quicker boarding for passengers
JetBlue hopes the trial will lead to quicker boarding for passengers (Source: Getty)

Boarding passes could soon become a thing of the past, at least if JetBlue's new trial proves successful.

The American airline has announced it is launching self-boarding by facial recognition and will roll it out on certain flights from next month.

JetBlue said it will be the first airline to collaborate with US customs and border protection (CBP) to use biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate during boarding.

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The trial will start on flights from Boston's Logan International Airport to Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport and customers will be able to take part without needing to sign up beforehand.

Customers who opt to have their face scanned rather than go the traditional route will step up to the camera for a quick photo - no boarding pass needed. The camera will connect to CBP and match the image to passport, visa, or immigration photos in its database and verify flight details.

The passenger will then be notified on an integrated screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed.

Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, at JetBlue, said:

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.

Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way.

Air transportation IT specialist SITA will provide the tech used for the system.

Read more: Soon you'll be able to use facial recognition for banking with Lloyds

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