Emirates is once again pushing the boundaries of technology, becoming the first airline outside America to receive approval for biometric boarding from the US Customs Border Protection (CBP). Soon, customers flying from Dubai to any of Emirates’ 12 destinations in the US will be able to choose facial recognition technology at the departure gates, reducing the time taken for identity checks to two seconds or less. No pre-registration is required, and customers may also choose not to use the technology. Emirates does not store any biometric records of its customers – all the data is managed securely by CBP.
The technology was piloted at the departure gates of Emirates’ flights from Dubai to New York and Los Angeles through the peak periods in July and August. The airline expects to make biometric boarding available for all its US destinations by year-end, once the equipment is in place.
Dr Abdulla Al Hashimi, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates Group Security, said, “Biometric boarding is one more step in streamlining processes at our hub using digital technology, saving our customers time and giving them peace of mind.”
John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commission, Office of Field Operations, US Customs and Border Protection, said, “By comparing a traveller’s face to their passport or visa photo that was previously provided for the purpose of travel, we have streamlined identity verification that further secures and enhances the customer experience.”