Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

KLM Tests Facial Recognition to Ease Boarding Without Passes

  • Dutch airline, Amsterdam airport test system for three months
  • Move joins others using digital technology for speed, security

KLM will use face-scanning technology at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in a test of ways to speed up the boarding process and improve security.

The three-month trial requires passengers to register in advance and then scan boarding passes, passports and faces at a special kiosk, the airport said in an e-mailed statement. The test will take place at a selected gate at KLM’s hub.

Airports and airlines worldwide are exploring the use of new technologies to speed passengers through terminals more quickly and deal with the risks associated with international travel. In Japan, the government early last year invested to install facial recognition systems at airports nationwide to boost security.

In the U.S., biometric screening firm Clear is expanding to 22 major U.S. airports with lanes that use fingerprints or iris scans to check members’ identities. The service eliminates the need for boarding passes at the security checkpoints and identity checks and lets members head straight to Transportation Security Administration screening. New York-based Clear charges $179 a year, with new enrollees receiving a one-month trial for free.

The company opened lanes last month at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and is adding New York’s LaGuardia, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Los Angeles International, among others. Delta Air Lines Inc. owns a 5 percent stake in Clear.

— With assistance by Justin Bachman

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