Emirates just became the first international airline to be approved to offer biometric boarding on flights to the United States. Before Emirates was approved, only a handful of U.S.-based airlines were able to offer biometric boarding for flights to the United States.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) just approved the Dubai-based airline to start offering facial recognition boarding for Emirates flights from Dubai to the United States. Emirates flies to 12 destinations in the United States. The airline will soon let its passengers enjoy this seamless boarding method.
Passengers flying on Emirates will have the option to opt-out of biometric boarding if they aren't comfortable for whatever reason. However, it should prove popular as it is more convenient for passengers. If most opt to use it, boarding should become a faster process.
Biometric boarding is simple. The system simply identifies the passenger based on facial recognition technology. It then matches the photo of the passenger with the CBP's records. The process of verifying the passenger via facial recognition technology should only take about two seconds. If a traveler doesn't have a record in the CBP database, he or she will have to board the traditional way, but that should be a rare occurrence.
In July and August, Emirates tested the system on flights from its hub in Dubai to New York and Los Angeles. According to the airline, the tests were a success, and passengers successfully boarded using biometric technology on many flights.
Emirates is also expecting to roll out the technology across all its US destination airports in the near future to offer customers a more fuss-free travel experience.