New white paper highlights how biometrics could improve air travel

November 10, 2015 - 

Tascent, Inc. has published a new white paper, “A New Golden Age for Air Travel,” which looks at a handful of ways in which biometrics technology can be implemented to improve the air travel experience for passengers.

The specific requirements of the aviation industry simplifies the process of deciding which technology to implement.

For example, iris recognition could expedite processes throughout the airport, including self-service bag drop, self-service airplane boarding and automated frequent-flier lounge entry, according to the report.

Additionally, the airplane cabin itself can deploy biometric-enabled services to enable in-flight entertainment personalization, streamline payments, and facilitate the process of in-flight immigration.

Biometric technologies can be deployed to ensure multiple time-saving options for program registration including the use of mobile devices, and in-flight “self-enrollment” using seat-back systems.

“For the 8 million travelers flying around the world every day, biometrics can help transform an often stressful and impersonal experience into something personal, efficient and memorable,” said Tascent CEO Dean Senner. “In the near future, the technology will allow a person traveling from New York to California with a layover in Denver to watch part of a movie on the first leg of the trip, board the second plane, and with a quick biometric ID, begin watching the movie from the exact point where he or she left off.”

The white paper looks at a few areas where airlines could improve the overall convenience and value to consumers, which could build airline brand loyalty and preference.

Facilitating payments is a prime example, as airlines generate significant revenue from in-flight services including food and beverage, entertainment, Wi-Fi and duty-free sales.

Travelers must pay with cash or credit card, and for many this involves standing up and hunting around in the overhead bin for a wallet or purse. Simplifying purchases by introducing a biometric payment solution either with a seatback system or a mobile device operated by a crew member reduces purchasing friction and is likely to improve uptake of these services.

“Air travel and connectivity are critical for global growth and development,” said Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), director of greenearth.travel and head of The Sun Program. “As greater numbers of people move around the world, we need to find radical ways to increase their enjoyment, reduce their impact and speed them through controls, with simpler processes and better security. This study shows how that can be done more efficiently, using modern technology – it holds great promise for the immediate future.”

As the white paper explains, biometrics technology continues to facilitate a more seamless travel experience in a range of areas including immigration, security, customer convenience and financial services.

“The scenarios outlined [in the report] present a vision of an exciting future in which biometrics technologies simplify and personalize the air travel experience,” the white paper said. “Will each come to pass? Technically, they are all feasible, but each will require a thoughtful approach to security, usability, process, and integration. The more straightforward use cases outlined above could be implemented today, independently, by forward-leaning airlines. Others, such as the immigration scenario, will require more coordination effort between various stakeholders.”

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.