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March 21, 2018

Lufthansa deploys biometric boarding at Los Angeles Airport

German airline Lufthansa is now using one-step biometric boarding on some flights departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

German airline Lufthansa is now using one-step biometric boarding on some flights departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The launch of biometric boarding using facial recognition at LAX comes after a successful trial of the technology at the airport.

Lufthansa collaborated with its IT partner Amadeus, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA) and Vision Box to pilot the technology.

“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.”

During the early phase of trials, Lufthansa received encouraging feedback from passengers and boarded approximately 350 people onto an A380 in approximately 20 minutes.

Lufthansa product management ground and digital services senior director Bjoern Becker said: “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.

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

The biometric boarding system uses facial-recognition cameras that captures a photo of the passenger’s face as they approach the gates fitted with the device. The image is immediately and securely sent to the US CBP database for real-time matching and verification.

Once a match is made, the system identifies the passenger as ‘boarded’, and the person can walk onto the aircraft without showing a boarding pass or passport.

Amadeus, which developed the biometric enhancement together with Lufthansa, plans to expand the pilot programme to additional US gateways and other passenger touchpoints.

Amadeus Airlines Central and Eastern Europe managing director Guido Haarmann said: “Biometric boarding has enormous potential to make the travel experience easier and less stressful. Last year, over 1.6 billion passengers boarded planes using Amadeus Altéa technology.”

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