JetBlue partners with CBP, SITA to launch self-boarding program using facial recognition

JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) will collaborate with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA to test a new paperless and deviceless self-boarding process as part of ongoing trials to implement a biometric exit process in the future, the company said.

JetBlue will be the first airline to integrate with CBP to use biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate during boarding.

The program will start in June on flights from Boston´s Logan International Airport to Aruba´s Queen Beatrix International Airport. Customers can participate without any prior enrollment or registration.

Customers who opt in during the boarding process will have their photo taken by a custom-designed camera station that will connect to CBP to instantly match the image to passport, visa, or immigration photos in the CBP database and verify flight details.

The customer will be notified on an integrated screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge.

JetBlue will issue iPad minis to crewmembers, giving them mobility to monitor and manage the boarding process while interacting with customers.

SITA, the global provider of IT, communications and border security solutions to airlines, airports and governments is providing the technology and connectivity to perform facial capture and integration with the CBP database as well as integration with JetBlue´s departure control system.

Self-boarding builds on JetBlue´s efforts to innovate the airport travel experience. JetBlue recently debuted its self-service “line-less” lobbie with new interactive kiosks featuring self-bag tagging and self-bag drop capabilities at New York-JFK, Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, San Juan, Newark, and Atlanta with more coming in 2017.

JetBlue carries more than 40 million customers a year to 101 cities in the US, Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1000 daily flights.