Alaska Air considers biometrics for passenger processes

Could lead to fingerprint readers at bag drops, passenger lounges, boarding gates and for inflight purchases

Alaska Airlines is looking at using fingerprints scanning for passengers to streamline everything from lounge access to boarding, inflight purchases to baggage collection.

Alaska Air considers biometrics for passenger processesThe airline began testing the technology in August on passengers waiting to enter the airline’s premium lounge “The Boardroom” in Seattle, reports Bloomberg.

“We are looking at ways to make Alaska the easiest airline to fly,” said Sandy Stelling, the carrier’s managing director for customer research and development. “We’re looking for ways to get rid of waiting. I don’t think there’s a lot of value in waiting.”

If implemented, the system could see fingerprint readers installed at check-in kiosks, bag drops, airport shops, passenger lounges, boarding gates and for inflight purchases.

There are some significant barriers to using this technology outside of Alaska Airlines’s passenger lounge, as any systems would need to meet strict security and privacy requirements developed by the Transportation Security Administration and airport authorities.

This process would involve extensive government testing, independent review and a written proposal that is open to public comment.

It would also need to undergo an extensive federal approval process that includes testing in a closed, off-airport environment, a privacy impact assessment and a proposal published in the Federal Register.