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American Airlines Scans Passports via NFC Mobile App
International airline check-in automation has taken a step forward with the adoption of NFC technology to recognize passports.
Dec 23, 2019—
Automating airline check-in operations has not been new for at least a decade. Gradually, companies have been trying to reduce long passenger queues at airport counters as travelers wait to receive their boarding passes. As such, self-service kiosks are increasingly proliferating at airports.
In this movement, along with enhancing smartphone capabilities and app advancements, airlines have begun offering mobile phone check-in tools along with their customer-loyalty plans. In addition to making life easier for passengers, this ensures access to mile-point programs. The big challenge was in reading passports via an app and thereby enabling travelers to hand over their boarding pass (a QR code on a smartphone screen) electronically.
With the system, travelers can securely transmit information directly via a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip embedded in their passport. This allows customers to proceed directly to a departure gate for international flights without having documents checked by a customer service agent at the airport counter. The system eliminates the need for passengers to visit a lobby kiosk, AA explains, noting that the new feature utilizes secure passport chip technology for international boarding to make the check-in process faster. Passports worldwide are being standardized with NFC, using a system designed to speed up passenger entry and exit processes for border authorities.
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