San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines have become the first in the United States to trial a low-touch, biometric-enabled airport experience from check-in to boarding for domestic travelers on select flights.
Using SITA’s Smart Path, passengers participating in the trial can link their driver’s license to their facial biometric at check-in. They can then move through the airport, from check-in to bag drop, security and boarding by simply scanning their face at each touchpoint.
In 2020, over half of all international flights at SFO were boarded using biometrics. Now, the airport and United are extending that same experience to domestic passengers on select flights at SFO across multiple steps in the journey.
With Smart Path, your face is your boarding pass. United passengers simply link their driver’s license and flight details to their facial biometric. Passengers then step up to a biometrically enabled camera to drop their bags, pass through the security checkpoint, or board the aircraft without having to hand over possession of their photo ID or boarding pass. This reduces physical contact and provides a more efficient process for travelers and staff alike.
Diana Einterz, SITA President Americas, said: “The ability to use existing airport infrastructure is key to quickly respond to the new health measures required by the COVID-19 pandemic and cost effective for airlines at a time when passenger volumes will take time to fully recover. Extending the benefits of SITA Smart Path is one way we are supporting the air transport community as we face these new challenges.”
The system can integrate with existing industry standard common-use operating platforms and can be used across all airport journey steps from check-in to boarding, including duty-free shopping.