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Lufthansa launches biometric boarding at LAX

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Lufthansa Group launched biometric boarding using facial recognition at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Lufthansa Group announced on Tuesday, 20 March, it launched “hasslefree, one-step biometric boarding utilizing facial recognition.”

The innovative pilot program is now available at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and was made possible through a collaboration with Lufthansa Group’s IT partner, Amadeus, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA) and Vision Box.

According to Lufthansa, during initial trials, approximately 350 passengers boarded onto an A380 in about 20 minutes.

Lufthansa explained how the new system works in a quite simple way:

  • Self-boarding gates with sophisticated facial recognition cameras capture passengers’ facial images as they approach the device
  • This image is securely sent to the CBP database for real-time matching and verification • After a successful, instantaneous match within a few seconds, the system recognizes the passenger as “boarded”
  • The passenger no longer needs to show a boarding pass or passport at the gate

One executive at the airline, Bjoern Becker, believes that “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.”

Following the successful trial at LAX, Lufthansa intends to expand the pilot program to other U.S. airports. “We anticipate that in near time, biometric boarding, as well as other aspects of the air travel experience, will be widely utilized across the U.S. and beyond,” concluded Becker.

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