Facial Recognition: The Future of Travel Is Here

Gallivant Africa

Star Alliance is enabling a touchless travel experience at the airport, starting with Frankfurt, Vienna, Munich, and now Hamburg. By enabling a contactless journey through multiple checkpoints at an airport, biometric technologies are an important element in enhancing the customer experience in terms of convenience, efficiency, and safety.

Star Alliance Biometrics seeks to address the passengers’ expectations for a more touchless and hygienically safe travel experience, especially in a new era of air travel. It leverages face recognition technology to enable passengers to experience fast, accurate and seamless recognition at self-service baggage drop, security access, airport/ airline lounges and boarding gates instead of using their passports and boarding passes.

How It Works:

Enrol only once

Passengers enroll only once and can then use the service with any participating airline at any participating airport. Once registered, they can seamlessly pass through both security access and boarding gates in a touchless manner- an especially important health and hygiene safety measure in times of COVID-19. In future, this service will be extended to other airport touchpoints, such as baggage drop and VIP lounges.

Keep the mask on

The advanced face recognition algorithms render it unnecessary to remove face masks for an identity check. This supports travellers in adhering to the requirement in many airport terminals to wear a mask at all times.

Safe and secure

From the outset, Star Alliance is strongly committed to data security and emphasized the importance of putting customers in control of their data- passengers can select exactly which airlines and airports they allow to access their biometric data.

Personal data, such as photo and other identification details, are encrypted and safely stored within the platform in compliance with European Data Privacy and Security laws. Moreover, storage of such data is kept to the absolute minimum – for example, no customer names are stored.

How to Get Started

With a few easy steps on your mobile device, you have the option to enroll in Star Alliance Biometrics. Remember that you need to be a frequent flyer member with a participating Star Alliance member airline.

Step 1: Open the participating airline’s app

From the menu, select “Star Alliance Biometrics” and agree to share your name and frequent flyer membership number with Star Alliance. You will then be redirected to the Star Alliance App.

Ensure that you have a valid passport and the latest version of the airline’s app.

Step 2: Create your biometric profile

In the Star Alliance App, please provide your consent for the collection, use and processing of your biometric data. You will then be prompted to create a 6-digit PIN and to select your security questions to create your profile.

Step 3: Take a selfie

Take a photo of yourself. Your face will be matched with the photo in your passport.

Step 4: Scan your passport

Take a picture of the photo page of your passport.  Ensure that the data is clearly legible. If your passport has an electronic chip, you will also be prompted to scan the chip.

Step 5: Confirm and activate

Complete the process by providing your consent and choosing the airlines and airports where you would like to use your biometric identity.

You may login at any time to update your profile and consent settings.

Gallivant Africa
Gallivant Africa hosts junior journalists and intern travel writers to share their stories and experiences with our audience. Read their stories and help them grow into leaders of the industry.

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