Star Alliance to roll out universal biometric identity system

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Frequent flyer program customers of Star Alliance member airlines will soon be able to use their biometric identity across any participating airline, at any participating airport, following a new agreement between the airline alliance, NEC and SITA.

Connecting to SITA’s Smart Path solution, the Star Alliance biometrics platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in more than 460 airports. Together with SITA and NEC’s global presence, multiple biometric projects can be delivered in parallel, speeding up the availability of biometric passenger processing to Star Alliance’s member airlines globally. This, say the companies, will be vital in enabling Star Alliance to deploy biometrics faster.

The system will also leverage the NEC I:Delight platform – which enables passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, even on the move – and can be easily integrated with SITA Smart Path. The platform is also able to recognize passengers even when wearing a mask, an increasingly important feature for travel during the current pandemic. The platform is already in use by Star Alliance member airlines at several airports in Europe.

Uniquely, passengers using Star Alliance’s biometrics platform will need to enroll only once. Passengers can then pass through biometrically enabled touchpoints across multiple member airlines and participating airports using just their face as their boarding pass.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO at Star Alliance, commented, “This agreement is instrumental in bringing further scale to our biometrics service, with the inherent benefits of speed and meeting customer expectations for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience across all of our member airlines. Biometrics is a key element of that experience and our strategy of leading the way in digitalizing the passenger journey.”

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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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