SFO trials touchless check-in and boarding system

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San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines have become the first in the USA to trial a low-touch, biometric-enabled airport experience from check-in to boarding for domestic travelers on select flights.

Using supplier SITA’s Smart Path system, passengers participating in the trial can link their driver’s license to their facial biometric at check-in. They can then move through the airport, from check-in to bag drop, security and boarding, by simply scanning their face at each touchpoint.

United Airlines vice president of airport operations at San Francisco International Airport, Lori Augustine, said, “United has been a leader in providing a touchless experience for our customers – from our longtime and ongoing partnership with Clear, to being the first airline to implement touchless kiosks in our check-in lobbies. We are looking forward to participating in this trial with SITA and exploring new technology that will help inform our biometric offerings in the future, as well as offer our domestic customers a frictionless experience as they travel through SFO.”

Diana Einterz, SITA president Americas, added, “The ability to use existing airport infrastructure is key to quickly respond to the new health measures required by the Covid-19 pandemic and cost effective for airlines at a time when passenger volumes will take time to fully recover. Extending the benefits of SITA Smart Path is one way we are supporting the air transport community as we face these new challenges.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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