As part of the Lufthansa Group’s efforts to digitise travel, the airline first tested the use of biometrics—facial recognition, iris scan and fingerprinting—at their airport lounge. Following what the company says was a successful trial, in March this year, Lufthansa launched one-step biometric boarding utilising facial recognition, at Los Angeles Airport.
Lufthansa’s biometric boarding process looks like this:
Self-boarding gates with facial recognition cameras capturing passengers’ facial images, as they approach the device.
This image is sent to the US Customs and Border Protection database for real-time matching and verification.
After a successful match and verification, which takes a few seconds, the system recognises the passenger as “boarded”.
The passenger no longer needs to show a boarding pass or passport at the gate.
The company which provides biometric solutions to airports predicted that using biometrics to check passengers’ identity would power the era of faster and more secure self-service processes, with innovative ID management programs becoming “more commonplace worldwide as 63% of airports and 43% of airlines plan to invest in biometric ID management solutions in the next three years.”
IATA ’s 2017 Global Passenger Survey revealed that of the passengers surveyed, 82% wanted to use a digital passport on their smartphones for as many flight-related processes as possible, and 64% favour biometric identifiers as their preferred travel token.
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