After a successful trial at Los Angeles Airport, Air New Zealand customers experienced biometric verification at their boarding gate last week.
This is all part of Air New Zealand’s plan to remove the hassle from travel and make your journey through the airport easier. There is no scanning of boarding passes or sighting passports.
Customers are given the option to register with Customs and Border Protection in the United States (CBP) upon entry.
This data can then be used to verify the identity of the passenger at the time they board the plane using the automated airport kiosks. CBP secures biometric information and it is not accessible to Air New Zealand, or any other airline that uses this service.
Nikhil Ravishankar, Chief Digital Officer at Air New Zealand, says that this technology will speed up the boarding process and create a seamless experience for both customers and airport staff.
“We’ve heard from customers that they want their airport experience to be hassle-free and technology is a key enabler of that. According to IATA, more than 75 percent of customers see huge value in biometric verification and want to use it instead of passports and boarding passes.
“The feedback from the more than 1000 customers who have used this technology to board our flights has been really positive.”
Next on the list is San Francisco, followed closely by the airline’s other US ports.
“Contactless technology changes are coming thick and fast and we’re continuing to learn and adapt to new innovations that will make travel easier. In the new travel era, we need simplicity not complexity.”
The airline's improved Air NZ App was launched earlier this month. It has been downloaded close to 2.3 Million times.
“Using biometrics at the boarding gate is only the beginning and we’re in talks with industry players, globally and here in New Zealand, about how we can use biometric technology throughout the whole airport process. This is another step towards our ambition to become the world’s leading digital airline, and is the result of months of hard mahi, planning and collaboration.”