Alaska Airlines has launched a mobile passenger identity app allowing US and Canadian passport holders to bypass the check-in process for international flights.
The ‘Mobile Verify’ system operates through the Airside Digital Identity app for Android or iOS, which asks users to enroll by submitting a selfie photo and a picture of their passport’s photo page, and by holding their phone over the passport’s back cover to enable the app to read the passport’s embedded chip. Facial recognition technology enables the app to match the face in the passport photo to the selfie, with the data contained in the embedded chip further validating the traveler’s identity information.
Founded in 2009, Airisde has been a pioneer in digital identity, developing a solution that adheres to stringent standards including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-63-3 rev 3 Class of Approval and FIDO2. The firm was acquired by the selfie onboarding specialist Onfido earlier this year, with the two firms aiming to combine their expertise and to expand their digital identity offering to markets beyond airport screening.
The latter clearly remains important, however, with much of the addressable airport security market still untapped. Alaska Airlines’ case is the latest to demonstrate the growing interest in digital identity-driven screening technologies among air travel stakeholders.
“We’re investing in technology that takes processes traditionally only available at an airport and makes them possible from your smartphone,” explained the airline’s Senior Vice President of Innovation and Merchandising, Charu Jain. “This new Mobile Verify technology creates a seamless airport experience for guests traveling internationally – eliminating the uncertainty that comes with having to wait in airport lines.”
Alaska Airlines says it plans to extend the availability of the Mobile Verify system to nationals from additional countries in the future. Meanwhile, those American and Canadian passport holders who don’t want to use the digital ID system still have the option of going ahead with the traditional check-in process.
August 29, 2023 – by Alex Perala