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350 passengers, 20 minutes: Lufthansa launches biometric boarding at LAX

350 passengers, 20 minutes: Lufthansa launches biometric boarding at LAX

Monday, March 19, 2018

LOS ANGELES — Lufthansa’s one-step biometric boarding is now available at LAX and the airline says it will introduce biometric boarding at more airports across the country.

Lufthansa reports that it received “very positive” feedback from guests and boarded approximately 350 passengers onto an A380 in about 20 minutes.

How does it work?

  • Self-boarding gates with facial recognition cameras capture passengers’ facial images as they approach the device
  • The 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

The LAX pilot project is in collaboration with Lufthansa Group’s IT partner, Amadeus, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA).

“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,” said Bjoern Becker, Senior Director, Product Management Ground and Digital Services for Lufthansa. “Lufthansa strives to enhance the customer experience by applying advanced technologies and innovative solutions. This is a further step towards achieving that goal.”

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He adds that with ever-increasing passenger volumes and airport infrastructure limitations, biometrics are becoming a key element to speed up the airport process while ensuring passenger safety and security. In the U.S., airlines will not need to create and maintain their own biometric database as it can rely on data provided from a central source – the CBP – for efficiency and accuracy.

Amadeus, the provider of Lufthansa’s Passenger Service System (Altéa) which includes the Altéa Departure Control solution, developed the biometric enhancement together with Lufthansa.

Following the trial in Los Angeles, Lufthansa intends to expand the pilot program to additional U.S. gateways and other passenger touchpoints.

Last year, over 1.6 billion passengers boarded planes using Amadeus Altéa technology.

“Biometric boarding has enormous potential to make the travel experience easier and less stressful,” said Guido Haarmann, Managing Director, Central & Eastern Europe, Airlines, Amadeus.

“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,” added Becker.

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