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Say Goodbye to Boarding Passes with Star Alliance’s Facial Recognition

Lufthansa Group travelers at five airports can access security, gates, and lounges simply by scanning their faces

by Lauren Smith

April 24, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Lufthansa

Passengers at select European airports can now experience a more convenient and contactless entry process, thanks to the Star Alliance‘s decentralized facial recognition technology.

By simply scanning their faces, passengers can pass through security and board their aircraft without fumbling in their bags for their boarding passes and passports.

The Lufthansa Group was the first Star Alliance member to introduce biometric checkpoints at Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) airports in November 2020, providing relief to travelers who were concerned about the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. This technology has since been expanded to other airports, including Vienna (VIE), Hamburg (HAM), and Zurich (ZRH).

Photo: Courtesy of Star Alliance

The system is available to passengers on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, and SWISS, who are also members of the group’s Miles & More loyalty program.

To access biometric checkpoints, travelers must be at least 18 or register 24 hours before through the Star Alliance app.

Photo: Courtesy of Star Alliance

Passengers using the Star Alliance app can easily create their biometric profile and PIN by following a simple process. All you need to do is upload a clear photo of yourself, which will be used to identify you at the airport, along with a photo of your passport for a one-time comparison of your data.

The data you provide is encrypted and stored securely within the Star Alliance app on your mobile device.

This one-time enrolment will give you access to biometric screening systems across all participating airports and airlines.

Photo: Lufthansa, Airbus A350-900. Courtesy of Munich Airport

At these airports, you’ll access security screening, boarding, and lounges by scanning your face. The facial recognition system works even while users wear face masks covering their nose and mouth.

Star Alliance says the biometrics service will eventually be rolled out to other airport touchpoints to enhance “convenience, efficiency, and hygienic safety” for travelers, as noted by the airline alliance.