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Air France tests biometric boarding pass and adds new chatbot, Lea

Air France has introduced a number of new digital innovations including a trial of biometric boarding, a new chatbot for irregular operations and multiple enhancements to its app.

Biometric boarding pass

Air France is currently testing a biometric boarding pass solution at baggage drop-off points and boarding gates that uses facial recognition.

To use the biometric trial, passengers scan their passport when checking in on the Air France app or at an airport self-service kiosk. The issued biometric pass will contain the passenger’s encrypted biometric facial data from their ID photo. When dropping off their baggage or at boarding, the passenger scans  their boarding pass and a camera will identify and authenticate them using facial recognition.

The airline says that “In a few months’ time, the matching of the customer’s biometric data and image will authorize the passenger to drop off their baggage and proceed to boarding”.

Lea, the Air France chatbot dedicated to operating irregularities

Air France has added a new chatbot called Lea. This virtual assistant offers assistance and support during what the company calls ‘operating irregularities’, meaning delays, cancellations etc.

Available in French and English on Messenger, Lea is accessible via a link sent directly to passengers by SMS or email. Depending on the irregularity, Lea directly sends them information about the proposed accommodation, flight delay or cancellation certificates and compensation vouchers (meals, accommodation, transport, etc.).

Air France says that passengers can be connected with an Air France agent at any time, at their request.

Air France already has two other chatbots – Louis, and Lucie. Louis is dedicated to answering questions relating to baggage. Lucie suggests destinations for passengers based on criteria they send.

New features on the Air France app

They app alos now offers more features, including:

  • Real-time baggage tracking – each passenger receives a notification informing them where their baggage is throughout their trip and the number of the carousel where they can collect their baggage on arrival.
  • Faster check-in – passengers can enter their passport details in a single click.
  • Real-time airport access indications with geo-localization – passengers can plan their commute time to the airport thanks to a multi-transport itinerary (car, public transport, etc.) in real-time.
  • A guided airport tour through to the boarding gate – a map is automatically offered to the passengerindicating how to get to their boarding gate, making it easier for them to find their way around the airport.
  • Additional payment methods – Google Pay and Apple Pay are the latest additions to the classic, secure payment methods available when purchasing your ticket.

The Air France Play app also has new entertainment options. Passengers can enjoy more than 160 French and international press publications, more than 50 videos to watch during their flight (films, TV programmes, cartoons, documentaries, etc.) and a selection of music playlists.

Air France has released a video showing all these new digital offerings.

N.B. Image credit: Air France

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