Lufthansa is going to start allowing its passengers at New York JFK's Terminal 1 to use biometric boarding instead of a traditional boarding pass.

According to Lufthansa, biometric boarding offers a seamless, secure boarding process as it uses facial recognition scanners which scan passengers' faces and compare the images with the database provided by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Not only is it more convenient to not worry about carrying a boarding pass, but also biometric boarding is faster than physically checking traditional boarding passes and passports.

New York JFK is now the fourth airport in the US where Lufthansa is testing biometric boarding. The airline has been testing the technology at Miami, Los Angeles and Orlando airports. Lufthansa decided to expand the program based on the feedback of its customers, who loved the faster boarding process and convenience.

The process is simple and quick. Here is how it works:

  • As the passenger approaches the device at self-boarding gates that equipped with the technology, the camera captures the passenger's facial image.
  • The image is sent, in real-time, to the CBP database, for matching and verification.
  • After a match, typically within a few seconds, the passenger is recognized as ‘boarded'.

Any passenger who is uncomfortable with the biometric scans can still use traditional boarding passes. The biometric option isn't available to those who pre-board the plane, for example, those who need assistance or extra time as well as families with small children.

More and more airlines are using biometric scanning. Delta launched the United States' first biometric terminal in Atlanta last year. The Atlanta-based carrier just expanded its biometric boarding program to Los Angeles International Airport, too.

As biometric technology grows in popularity, it may soon become the norm for air travelers to embrace this modern, quick boarding option despite any possible reservations about privacy issues.

Adam Luehrs is a contributing writer at GET.com based in California. He likes traveling to new and exciting destinations, preferably on his credit card company's dime. When not on the road, Adam enjoys hiking around the mountains of San Diego, trying out new food and reading history books. Email: adam.luehrs@get.com.