Alaska Airlines has launched a mobile passenger identity app allowing US and Canadian passport holders to bypass the check-in process for international flights.
The ‘Mobile Verify’ system operates through the Airside Digital Identity app for Android or iOS, which asks users to enroll by submitting a selfie photo and a picture of their passport’s photo page, and by holding their phone over the passport’s back cover to enable the app to read the passport’s embedded chip. This is all done ahead of departure, enabling the end user to store a virtual version of their passport on their mobile device.
The system protects the end user’s privacy by sharing their passport information with Alaska Airlines temporarily, for a specific flight. That having been said, it is fully reusable: After a single enrolment session, the traveler can keep using their stored passport on the Airside app for any subsequent trips with Alaska Airlines.
The trailblazing solution is the product of the convergence of two companies’ technological innovations. Airside was acquired by Onfido earlier this year, with the latter recognizing how Airside’s pioneering digital ID technology could be integrated with its own selfie-based identity verification platform.
For Alaska Airlines, the resulting solution offered a compelling value proposition.
“Alaska Airlines values the privacy and security of their guests,” explained Airside co-founder and General Manager Adam Tsao in a blog post. “They want to offer a fast experience with the convenience of a digital process, but with guests’ privacy and security at the core. So they partnered with Airside, the first company to make user-controlled digital identity a reality in the travel industry.”
The collaboration offers a compelling example of how biometric and mobile identity technology can be leveraged to transform the air travel process today, with Alaska Airlines distinguishing itself as one of the world’s more innovative air carriers. It also sets the stage for the extension of Onfido and Airside’s solution beyond the travel sector, with executives aiming to deliver next-generation identity technology across Onfido’s network of hundreds of business partners.
September 25, 2023 – by Alex Perala