Lufthansa Group airlines Lufthansa and SWISS will be the first carriers to launch Star Alliance’s biometric identification platform for selected flights starting in November. The facial recognition technology, which is being installed at Frankfurt and Munich airports, allows a contactless travel experience at security and boarding gates for customers who have opted in to share biometric data.
Customers who want to use the identification service are asked to take a selfie, verify their identity with their passport and opt in to the airlines and airports where they want to use the service. Members of Lufthansa’s Miles and More frequent flyer program are able to enroll in Star Alliance Biometrics via a link in the Lufthansa app.
The facial recognition technology will match the enrolled customer’s live image to the boarding pass information and biometric profile, which will allow the customer to pass through the touchpoints of any participating airport that has the biometrics in place.
Registration is a one-time only requirement, and the airline says masks do not have to be removed, as the identification process works for passengers wearing face coverings. According to a Lufthansa Group statement, “Personal data, such as photo and other identification details, are encrypted and safely stored within the platform,” and customers can delete their biometric profile at any time.
The eGates equipped with the technology are clearly designated with the Star Alliance Biometrics logo above the gate and with floor markings. The alliance says the “range of process points will be gradually expanded – for example to baggage drop-off and business lounges” in the near future.
“The topic of biometrics will become increasingly important when travelling in the future,” said Christina Foerster, member of the board, customer, IT and corporate responsibility at Lufthansa Group. “Especially during the pandemic, such touchless processes at the airport are a big plus. In the Lufthansa Group, biometric technology and solutions will increasingly ensure simplified and more efficient processes at airports, thereby significantly improving the travel experience of our passengers.
Launch of the biometric identification platform comes as Lufthansa introduces its pre-flight testing program, which began with the first COVID- flight last week between Munich and Hamburg.