Over the past few years, we have seen immense growth in the use of biometric authentication. The authentication system exists in more or less every modern device and is used for digital payments and locking private information. Now, if you are living in Chicago, you will be able to check-in at the airport with nothing but a biometric scan of your face.
The US-based low-cost carrier, Spirit Airlines recently introduced a new biometric check-in counter in its ticket lobby at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to ease the check-in process for the travelers. This also aims to reduce physical contact between the airline’s staff and the customers amidst the ongoing pandemic. However, as of now, it remains as an optional check-in process for the passengers.
According to reports, the new biometric check-in process is pretty simple. Spirit passengers who opted for the new check-in process will just have to scan their faces at the new check-in/bag-drop counters. However, before getting to the face scan process, there will be one airline employee who will check the fliers’ IDs.
Now, Spirit is aiming to make this process completely self-serviced and has plans to eradicate the first step of ID check by an employee. So, once the company gets the TSA approval, passengers will be able to just drop their luggage and move on to the TSA security check directly.
“We started looking at ways to improve the check-in experience in 2019 as part of our pledge to invest in the Guest. We knew early on that automation and biometric photo-matching would make the check-in process smoother. Now in 2020, we’re realizing those same elements are just as valuable when it comes to helping people feel comfortable flying. Limiting touchpoints and unnecessary face-to-face interactions will change the way airports operate.”, said Ted Christie, the President and the CEO of Spirit airline.
However, if you are concerned (as you should be) about the whereabouts of your facial data after the scans, Spirit says that passengers’ facial data does not get to any government authorities and remain in the possession of the airline.