Lufthansa Begins Biometric Boarding At LAX

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Lufthansa Group has launched a pilot project at LAX that enables biometric boarding utilizing facial recognition. Rolled out in collaboration with IT partner Amadeus, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA) and Vision Box, Lufthansa received “very positive feedback” from travellers and boarded approximately 350 passengers onto an A380 in about 20 minutes.

How it works:

  • Self-boarding gates with sophisticated facial recognition cameras capture passengers’ facial images as they approach the device;
  • This image is securely sent to the CBP database for real-time matching and verification;
  • After a successful, instantaneous match within a few seconds, the system recognizes the passenger as “boarded”;
  • The passenger no longer needs to show a boarding pass or passport at the gate.

“The increasing need for airlines, airports and authorities to offer faster and more convenient processes for guests to move through the airport creates a unique opportunity for the use of biometrics,” said Bjoern Becker, Senior Director, Product Management Ground and Digital Services for Lufthansa.

“Lufthansa strives to enhance the customer experience by applying advanced technologies and innovative solutions. This is a further step towards achieving that goal.”

With increasing passenger volumes and airport infrastructure limitations, biometrics are becoming a key element to speed up the airport process while ensuring passenger safety and security. In the U.S., airlines will not need to create and maintain their own biometric database as it can rely on data provided from a central source – the CBP – for efficiency and accuracy.

 Amadeus, the provider of Lufthansa’s Passenger Service System (Altéa), which includes the Altéa Departure Control solution, developed the biometric enhancement together with Lufthansa. Following a successful trial in Los Angeles, LH intends to expand the pilot program to additional U.S. gateways and other passenger touchpoints. The trial’s completion will also pave the way for other airlines using Amadeus’s Altéa technology to rapidly deploy biometrics boarding for their own passengers.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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