SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines have become the first in the United States to trial a low-touch, biometric-enabled airport experience from check-in to boarding for domestic travelers on select flights. Using SITA’s Smart Path, passengers participating in the trial can link their driver’s license to their facial biometric at check-in. They can then move through the airport, from check-in to bag drop, security and boarding by simply scanning their face at each touchpoint.
In 2020, over half of all international flights at SFO were boarded using biometrics. Today the airport and United extend that same experience to domestic passengers on select flights at SFO across multiple steps in the journey.
United Airlines vice president of airport operations at San Francisco International Airport, Lori Augustine, said: “United has been a leader in providing a touchless experience for our customers – from our longtime and ongoing partnership with CLEAR, to being the first airline to implement touchless kiosks in our check-in lobbies. We are looking forward to participating in this trial with SITA and exploring new technology that will help inform our biometric offerings in the future, as well as offer our domestic customers a frictionless experience as they travel through SFO.”
In response to COVID-19, SFO, United and SITA are working together to provide safer, innovative self-service solutions that reduce passenger surface contact and agent interactions, improve the customer experience, and reduce processing times.
With Smart Path, your face is your boarding pass. United passengers simply link their driver’s license and flight details to their facial biometric. Passengers then step up to a biometrically enabled camera to drop their bags, pass through the security checkpoint, or board the aircraft without having to hand over possession of their photo ID or boarding pass. This reduces physical contact and provides a more efficient process for travelers and staff alike.