JetBlue has partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA to test a new paperless and device less self-boarding process. The new trials are a part of the airline’s efforts to implement a biometric exit process in the future. JetBlue will be the first airline to join hands with CBP to utilize biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify travellers during boarding procedure.
The new boarding trials have started from 1st June on JetBlue flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport. Travellers can take a trial of the same without any registration or application.
Travellers can keep their boarding passes and devices aside and simply come in front of the camera for a quick photo. The custom-designed camera station will instantly connect to CBP to match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database and thereby verify flight details. The customer will be notified on an integrated screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge. The setup will move JetBlue crewmembers from behind the counter to interact with customers and assist throughout the process. JetBlue will issue iPad minis to crewmembers, giving them mobility to monitor and manage the boarding process while interacting with customers.
“We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way.”
“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. “By transforming current business operations, airlines and airports will have the opportunity to use verified biometrics to ensure a seamless and consistent process for travelers.”
Jim Peters, chief technology officer, SITA, said: “This biometric self-boarding program for JetBlue and the CBP is designed to be easy to use. What we want to deliver is a secure and seamless passenger experience. We use sophisticated technologies to enable biometric checks and for CBP authorization to be sent quickly to the airline’s systems. This is the first integration of biometric authorization by the CBP with an airline and may prove to be a solution that will be quick and easy to roll out across US airports.”
JetBlue Airways operates its scheduled services from its main base John F. Kennedy International Airport. With its establishment in 1998, JetBlue Airways operates domestic and international routes across United States, Mexico and other parts of South America. The airline is wholly owned by JetBlue Airways Corporation with its headquarters in New York.