Air Canada introduces biometric services at SFO

The service streamlines gate experience by automating the identification verification process 

Air Canada has successfully rolled out a new boarding facility at San Francisco International Airport which uses facial biometric technology.

Customers flying from the Californian facility are now able to utilise the new system, with plans currently being discussed to implement the new service at other US bases.

Air Canada
(Photo Air Canada)

When passengers approach the boarding gate, the biometric technology will take their photo and validate it by comparing the image to the passport document details already on file. Once the identity has been verified by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Traveller Protection Service, passengers are able to board.

Travellers also have the option to opt out of using the biometric service and can board by presenting their passport for a manual ID check.

Andrew Yiu, vice president, product at the flag carrier, said: “Air Canada has introduced numerous touchless processes throughout the customer journey, and we are pleased to now offer an optional, innovative biometric boarding choice for customers departing SFO that is seamless, time-saving and convenient while reducing contact and processing time.”

Facial biometrics provides a touchless experience that streamlines air travel.

New touchless services introduced by Air Canada throughout this year include the ability to order food using smartphones and tablets, touchless self-entry into the Air Canada Café and contactless bag checks for flights from Canadian Airports.

“We are transforming the air travel journey by expanding the use of facial biometrics through public-private partnerships to further secure and enhance the customer experience,” said Diane Sabatino, deputy executive assistant commissioner at US Customs and Border Protection.

Currently, the airline is preparing to expand its biometric boarding services and is looking at viable options to make this possible at other Canadian airports.