China Southern Airlines is the first airline in China to introduce biometric boarding.
The airline started using facial recognition instead of a boarding pass at Jiangying Airport in Nanyang City, Henan Province.
The news comes in a press release on Xinhua.
Passengers download the airlines’ app and upload a head shot before going to the airport to check-in.
At check-in they don’t need to get a boarding pass as their live facial biometric is captured and checked with that in their passport photos. Also at the boarding gates, the system again confirms their identity.
The system verifies images on the app with passengers’ ID photos and their real-time images at the airport.
It’s not currently known how many flights the system applies and how passengers know their flight details e.g. flight and seat numbers.
China Southern developed the system with Baidu and GRG Banking.
Huang Wenqiang, general manager of the airline’s e-commerce division, said the smart-boarding system involved multiple encryption measures, which would prevent personal information theft.
The airline will apply the system later at Beijing’s new airport and other airports, said Han Wensheng, deputy general manager of China Southern Airlines.
China Southern recently started a second daily flight between London Heathrow and Guangzhou.
A number of airlines, including British Airways and KLM, have recently trialed self-boarding using facial recognition. Delta and CBP are to trial a system this summer for passengers departing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport and New York-JFK.
N.B. Image credit: China Southern
Nanyang Jiangying Airport (NNY)