Last week Lufthansa group has introduced a new technologically advanced boarding procedure. The airlines introduced facial recognition stations for the passengers in Los Angeles airport. New technology supposed to significantly reduce boarding time and allow airline's staff to work more efficiently.
The new procedure does not involve any human, it is fully computerized, the passengers only have to pass automated kiosks which are using facial recognition technology and captures each passenger’s face image. In a moment it checks the voyager in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) database. In case everything is correct, the small gates open and the passenger is allowed to board the plane.
Boarding based on facial recognition technology makes the process easier for both passengers and the airline staff. Travelers have to take out neither their tickets nor the passports. In turn, Lufthansa’s staff members can prepare the plane for boarding using the time which is saved from boarding procedures.
Usually, the boarding takes around 40 minutes. It is expected to cut it to only 20 minutes when boarding the biggest aircraft Lufthansa owns Airbus A380 which can fit about 350 passengers.
Lufthansa developed this new biometric-based boarding procedure together with Amadeus, the CBP and Vision box. Amadeus is already working with Lufthansa booking system and Vision box enables to capture the images and process it.
CBP already has a database of passengers, therefore, it easies the process and allows to determine in seconds whether the passenger is boarding the right plane. The procedure is considered to be exceptionally innovative due to its ability to capture, read the face and at the same time interface with CBP.
However, this innovation is not the first one in automation of the boarding process and Lufthansa is not the only one trying to improve their processes. British Airways has announced that they are on a trial period with a similar project in Los Angeles International airport to Orlando, Miami routes. American Delta airlines last year realized an experimental boarding based on passengers fingerprints.
In case Facial Recognition project goes well, Lufthansa expects to expand stations presence to the other US airports. Currently their only have flights to Munich and Frankfurt from Los Angeles airport.