Your Face May Be All You Need to Board a Plane

JetBlue launching facial recognition program to make boarding speedier, more secure
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2017 6:51 AM CDT
In this Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, photo, JetBlue Airways ticket agents assist passengers at the ticket counter at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla. JetBlue Airways Corporation reports financial...   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) – "We’re rapidly moving toward a day when your fingerprint, iris or face will become the only ID you’ll need for any number of transactions throughout a given day." This from the COO of Delta Air Lines, which along with JetBlue is testing facial and fingerprint-recognition technology to replace boarding passes, with an eye toward both improved security and flow of humans through crowded airports, Bloomberg reports. Delta has been testing fingerprint technology to let certain SkyMiles members enter its Sky Club lounges at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Meanwhile, JetBlue is about to start its facial recognition test this month, but in a very limited capacity for people boarding flights from Boston's Logan International Airport to Aruba.

Customers can opt out of JetBlue's program and don't need to register, but the process will allow JetBlue employees equipped with iPad Minis to leave the counter behind and help check in passengers, reports Business Insider. The process is straightforward: In lieu of a boarding pass, passengers are photographed; the image is sent to the US Customs and Border Protection database to be matched with a passport, visa, or immigration photo and to verify the passenger's flight details. Once cleared to board, passengers will be alerted on the screen. Delta also plans to use facial recognition to allow passengers to check bags at automated kiosks in Minneapolis/St. Paul beginning this summer. (Facial recognition tech is being hailed as both useful and problematic.)

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