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American Airlines will start to use facial recognition to help you board your plane faster

Not sure I can believe any sentence that has ‘American Airlines’ and ‘faster’ together unless it’s about how to lose your baggage…

Facial recognition being shown on a person with fingerprint data
Image: Cisco

Remember that dystopian future that movies have promised for decades now? It’s here, at least in part, at American Airlines’ boarding gates at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The airline has started using facial recognition to let passengers board their aircraft faster, and presumably without having to talk to anyone.

That’s according to local news station CBS 11, who also reports that American Airlines is saying the new system is more secure than the traditional boarding pass.

American Airlines is using facial recognition to board passengers at Dallas/Fort Worth International

Instead of a traditional boarding pass, passengers flying with American Airlines to international destinations can decide to use the facial recognition system instead. It works like this:

The boarding gate scans their face, then sends that scan to a US Customs and Border Protection-maintained cloud database where it is matched to their passport photo. If matched correctly, they can be boarded and on the plane within seconds. American Airlines says it doesn’t store the pictures of faces, but makes no mention if CBP does once that image is uploaded to the online database.

  • Passengers will still need their boarding passes and their passport to get through security checks
  • The facial recognition system is opt-in
  • Other airports like Singapore’s Chiangi, London’s Heathrow, and LAX are all using the facial recognition tech

With facial recognition on the rise, questions keep coming up about the privacy implications of using the tech. The thing is, I’m not so sure the average air traveler will care if it gets them to their flight a few minutes faster.

What do you think? How do you feel about facial recognition being used in airports? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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