June 23 2022  |  Airline & Terminal News

American testing facial security technology at DFW

By Hibah Noor

TSA PreCheck entry at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

American Airlines passengers with TSA PreCheck® can now move through the airport with just their phone and their face, thanks to a collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the airline to test mobile identification.

Starting this week at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), American Airlines AAdvantage® members who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck may choose to use their American Airlines Mobile ID at select TSA PreCheck checkpoints to have their identity verified. The experience is now available at every TSA PreCheck location at DFW, with plans to deploy at select TSA PreCheck checkpoints at Miami International Airport (MIA), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and more later this year.

American Airlines has selected Thales’ mobile identification technology part of the 60-day pilot program. Thales will provide its mobile ID technology to convert physical driver’s licenses and passports into TSA-approved mobile digital IDs that passengers can store on their smartphones.

“We’re committed to making our customers’ journeys easier, and airport waypoints provide significant opportunities for innovation,” said Julie Rath, Vice President of Customer Experience, Loyalty and Marketing for American in a recent announcement. “By simplifying the identity verification process and other points at the airport, we’re helping our customers exchange stress for convenience and saved time, and propelling the travel industry further along the path to a truly seamless customer experience.”

Users of the system, create an American Airlines Mobile ID . Before travel, Those with with TSA PreCheck who choose to participate in this program need to download the Airside Digital Identity App on an iOS or Android device and take a photo of their face they also need to scan their driver’s license or passport with the app and enter their American Airlines AAdvantage number

As they go through security, users present a QR code on their phone and consent to share their American Airlines Mobile ID with TSA. After sharing their Mobile ID, customers look into a camera at the TSA PreCheckcheckpoint. TSA’s computer system then matches the customer’s encrypted image against their American Airlines Mobile ID. The entire process at the airport typically takes less than five seconds.

Once verified, TSA erases the encrypted digital ID from its checkpoint readers and customers retain their digital ID on their device until they are ready to use it at another waypoint, such as an airport lounge.

This week's launch was informed by prior digital ID trials that American introduced in 2021 for touchless bag drop and Admirals Club entry at DFW. American passengers participating in the trials have the option to use facial recognition technology instead of presenting a government-issued ID, boarding pass or cobranded credit card to check their bag or enter the lounge. Because either a passport or driver’s license are accepted, this trial provides broad accessibility for travelers to experience this next milestone in easy travel, and offers a scalable solution for future domestic security touchpoints.

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