Biometrics technology: Star Alliance wants half its airline members to use

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, wants roughly half its 26 members to use biometrics technology by 2025, Reuters news report said.
biometrics technology
By increasing the number of airport touchpoints where passengers can use biometrics technology, such as facial comparison which allows someone to use their face as a boarding pass, Star Alliance hopes to reduce processing time through airport security, baggage drop, departure gates and lounges.

The group wants 12 to 15 airlines, or roughly double the current number, to either use its biometrics strategy or ensure compatibility, said Christian Draeger, vice president customer experience at Star Alliance.

In addition to airlines, Star Alliance also hopes the four European airports that are participating in its biometrics program will add additional touchpoints, as well as increase the number of participating airports.

Star Alliance coordinates services and projects like digital infrastructure for members.

Experts in Montreal are discussing the use of biometrics to replace conventional travel documents at a United Nations aviation symposium that wraps on Thursday.

The use of biometrics in travel varies by region due to different privacy rules and some countries’ lack of technical expertise which make the technology harder to introduce.

Over the next three years, 38 percent of airports plan to implement one biometric token like a face that gets passengers through all checkpoints, up from 3 percent a year ago, according to a 2021 report from air transport communications and IT specialist SITA.

Star Alliance member United Airlines said it is pursuing ways to ease travel through the use of biometrics at several points throughout the airport.

Other uses of biometrics to ease travel have grown over time. Around 80 percent of ICAO states now issue e-passports, which were launched in 2004 and have secure chips with travelers’ photos, said Christiane DerMarkar, technical officer at ICAO’s traveller identification program who spoke at the symposium.