We know airline travel this summer is a nightmare, with cancelled and delayed flights and long security lines. American Airlines is trying to speed up the check-in with new technology – TSA check-in via facial recognition. It allows travelers to breeze through the airport with just their face and their phone.
It’s available for fliers with TSA PreCheck, who are members of the American Airlines AAdvantage loyalty program and have the American Airlines Mobile ID app on their phone. It also requires having a driver’s license or a Passport for identification.
Right now the facial recognition system is being tested at every TSA PreCheck location at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), with plans to deploy the system at at Miami International Airport (MIA), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and more later this year.
International passengers with the Global Entry pass, which includes TSA PreCheck already use fingerprint ID at kiosks to speed re-entry through US Customs.
Travelers with TSA PreCheck who choose to participate must download the Airside Digital Identity App on an iOS or Android device, take a photo of their face, scan their driver’s license or passport with the app and enter their American Airlines AAdvantage number. Do this at least 24-48 hours in advance of travel, not at the airport.
The app verifies the customers’ information against each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles records or the passport’s embedded NFC chip, and securely stores the traveler’s American Airlines Mobile ID on their mobile device until they choose where and when to share it.
Travelers simply present a QR code on their phone and consent to share their American Airlines Mobile ID with TSA.
After sharing their Mobile ID, customers look into a camera at the TSA PreCheck checkpoint. TSA’s computer system then matches your encrypted image against the American Airlines Mobile ID. It takes about five seconds.
Once verified, TSA erases the encrypted digital ID from its checkpoint readers. You retain the digital ID on your device until you are ready to use it again, such as an airport lounge.
The new facial recognition TSA PreCheck is built on the digital system that American introduced in 2021 for touchless bag drop and Admirals Club entry at DFW.
Travelers participating in these trials have the option to use facial recognition technology instead of a government-issued ID, boarding pass or a co-branded credit card to check bags or enter the lounge.
The facial recognition system surely will grow.
According to the travel trade publication Insider Travel Report, the airline plans to roll out similar technology to additional kiosks, bag check and domestic boarding gates.
Travelers on American Airlines already can verify their identities through facial matching provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at several international boarding gates..
For more information, visit www.aa.com.