DALLAS – American Airlines (AA) customers who have TSA PreCheck are now able to go through security using just their phone – and their face. This is due to a joint venture between AA and the TSA set up to test mobile identification.
The program began this week at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). AAdvantage members enrolled in TSA PreCheck may choose to use their American Airlines Mobile ID at select TSA PreCheck checkpoints to have their identity verified.
The option is available at every TSA PreCheck location at DFW, and there are plans to deploy the system at select TSA PreCheck checkpoints at Miami International Airport (MIA), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and other locations later this year.
“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.
“By simplifying the identity verification process and other points at the airport, we’re helping our customers exchange stress for convenience and saved time.”
An Easy Process
According to AA, the process of creating and storing the AA Mobile ID is simple. After downloading the app, one simply takes a photo of their face, scans their driver’s license, and enters their AAdvantage number.
At that point, the app verifies customers’ information using ID technology powered by Thales, a global high technology company that works in digital and “deep tech” including connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and quantum technology. The app then stores the customer’s American Airlines Mobile ID on their mobile device until they choose to share it.
At security, customers present a QR code on their phone and consent to share their American Airlines Mobile ID with TSA. Then, customers look into a camera at the TSA PreCheckcheckpoint where the TSA computer system matches the customer’s encrypted image against their American Airlines Mobile ID. AA says 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.
You can watch a video of the process below.
Expanding in the Future
American says that in the future, it will install similar technology at kiosks, bag checks, and domestic boarding gates. AA customers can already verify their identities through facial matching provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at several international boarding gates.
Passengers should remember that this system is optional. Travelers are not required to participate if they do not feel comfortable sharing their personal information.
Featured image: New Facial Recognition system by American Airlines and Thales. Debuting at DFW. Photo: American Airlines