The Star Alliance has officially launched its biometric passenger identification platform. Aptly called “Star Alliance Biometrics”, the platform will debut at Germany’s Frankfurt and Munich airports to enable a contactless customer journey during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lufthansa Group will be the first organization to offer support for Star Alliance Biometrics. Beginning in November, the service will be available to people enrolled in the company’s Miles & More Frequent Flyer Program, who will have the opportunity to opt into Star Alliance Biometrics for select Lufthansa and SWISS flights. Those who do will be able to pass through security checkpoints and boarding gates with only a facial recognition scan, and will not need to take off their masks in order to do so. Star Alliance Biometrics is built with NEC’s I:Delight platform, which has the ability to recognize people whose faces are covered.
Interested travelers can register for Star Alliance Biometrics using the Lufthansa app on their mobile device. They will need to take a selfie and link it to their passport as part of the process, and can then choose which airports and airlines will have access to the information they need to provide the Star Alliance Biometrics service.
The facial recognition images and the associated personal data will be encrypted and stored on the platform. However, Star Alliance will not be storing customer names, and the system itself is compliant with all the relevant data protection regulations.
“The Star Alliance Biometrics solution addresses the expectation for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience,” said Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh.
“The topic of biometrics will become increasingly important when travelling in the future,” added Lufthansa Group Board Member Christina Foerster. “Biometric technology will ensure simplified and more efficient processes at airports, thereby significantly improving the travel experience of our passengers.”
Once they are registered, customers will be able to use Star Alliance Biometrics with any participating airline or airport. NEC announced that it was developing a facial recognition platform for Star Alliance in July of 2019, while SITA has since revealed that it will also be integrating I:Delight with its own Smart Path and Flex solutions.
November 19, 2020 – by Eric Weiss