American passenger carrier Alaska Airlines has forged a partnership with San Jose International Airport (SJC) to establish a technology incubator.

The incubator will be used to test new technologies for their ability to improve the travel experience. The airline company’s team will look to augment numerous aspects of travel, from lobby design to biometric boarding.

The airline company said that it is currently testing a new check-in and self-bag-drop system at the airport in a bid to streamline the check-in process and minimise the time required for passengers to drop off baggage.

With these new technological advancements, Alaska Airlines aims to provide its passengers with more opportunities to bypass congested areas of the lobby. 

Alaska Airlines merchandising and innovation senior vice-president Charu Jain said: “As we grow our airline and fly more people to more places, we are looking for unique ways to create a seamless travel experience for our guests.

“We’re using tech to also empower and equip our employees with the latest tools to offer the most caring service for our guests. California is the epicentre of tech and the perfect place to test out these innovations.” 

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The airline company also noted that they have set up tabletops featuring Apple iPad Pro at SJC, which can be used to quickly scan passengers’ boarding pass and print bag tags, allowing travellers to self-tag their bags.

It added that its customer service agents at SJC will also be available with iPad Mini in order to serve guests at any Alaska touchpoint.

Alaska Airlines has also implemented biometric technology at SJC to expedite the boarding process for international passengers.

Jain added: “Boarding with biometric technology uses facial recognition to verify identity and shorten security procedures for those passengers who opt into the programmes.

“For guests who are concerned about security, we do not retain any imagery and offer our guests the opt-in option to use biometrics. While it will never be mandatory, we believe it is the future of travel.”