JetBlue to test facial-recognition for boarding at Logan Airport

The three-month test run, which begins June 12, will test the accuracy and speed of facial recognition, Geraghty said, and the willingness of passengers to use a system that has sparked privacy concerns.

A "custom-designed camera station" will interact with US Customs and Border Protection's systems to "instantly match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database and verify flight details".

'CBP looks forward to engaging closely with air travel partners, like JetBlue, to better understand how CBP's biometric exit program will support their efforts to streamline the travel process by using advanced biometric technology, ' said CBP's Office of Field Operations, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, John Wagner.

JetBlue EVP-customer experience Joanna Geraghty noted the boarding process is one of the most hard "friction points" in the passenger journey for airlines to improve. "It's foreseeable to have a situation in the future where a customer never has to take out a boarding pass". (You still have to bring your passport.) A screen above the camera will let passengers know when they're cleared to board.

This process will help get crew members into a more interactive setting than the counter behind which they traditionally stand. Crew members will be equipped with iPad minis to help them monitor and manage the process as a whole, the release said.

"This biometric self-boarding program for JetBlue and the CBP is created to be easy to use". Phase 2 would also allow them to check a bag and board a flight using a fingerprint.

Forget the boarding pass. JetBlue will just scan your face. It is part of a growing industry trend to use biometrics for a smoother travel process.

The Globe notes facial recognition technology has already been installed by British Airways at London's Heathrow Airport, and is also in use in Australia.

The airline said it won't have access to passenger photos - only SITA will. SITA said it will not store the photos.

JetBlue's new lobby launched at New York-JFK past year and based on positive customer response, JetBlue has brought the new lobby design to Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, San Juan, Newark and Atlanta with more coming in 2017.

  • Zachary Reyes