JetBlue to trial facial recognition self-boarding at Boston and Aruba airports

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Photo: Boston Logan International Airport

Airline JetBlue is to collaborate with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA to test a paperless and deviceless self-boarding process from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport.

The program will start in June and customers can participate without any prior enrollment or registration. Passengers step up to a camera for a photo, and the custom-designed camera station connects to CBP to instantly match the image to a passport, visa or immigration photo on the CBP database, then verifying flight details.

The setup will move JetBlue crew members from behind the counter to assist throughout, and they will be issued with iPads to give them mobility to monitor and manage the boarding process.

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.”

SITA, the global provider of IT, communications and border security solutions to airlines, airports and governments, is providing the technology and connectivity. If successful, the program will show how technology can make the boarding process simple for travellers while enhancing US national security through the implementation of biometric exit.

Jim Peters, chief technology officer at SITA, said, “This biometric self-boarding program for JetBlue and the CBP is designed to be easy to use. What we want to deliver is a secure and seamless passenger experience. We use sophisticated technologies to enable biometric checks and for CBP authorization to be sent quickly to the airline’s systems.

“This is the first integration of biometric authorization by the CBP with an airline and may prove to be a solution that will be quick and easy to roll out across US airports.”

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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