Air Canada's facial recognition technology could make boarding a lot less painful

Feb 21 2023, 2:34 pm

Long boarding lines could soon be a thing of the past with Air Canada’s new facial recognition technology.

On February 21, the airline announced that it’s become the first airline in Canada to launch the new system. The pilot program uses facial recognition technology, doing away with the need to stop and have airport crew check customers’ IDs. Instead, it allows customers the option to confirm their identity using facial recognition technology.

Not comfortable with having your face scanned? Don’t worry — you still have the option to board using your boarding pass and government-issued ID.

For now, it’s only available for customers on select flights from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Winnipeg. It’s also an option for those entering Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Soon, it will be available at Maple Leaf Lounges as well as other airports across the country.

“Participation in digital identification is voluntary,” said Craig Landry, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Air Canada.

Those eligible will receive an invitation to use the service, along with instructions “on how to create their secure digital faceprint prior to arriving at the airport.” The enrolment feature is available on the Air Canada app.

“Air Canada’s pilot project will speed up processes at YVR, and other airports where it’s established, while respecting robust privacy measures and security standards,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. “This project has great potential in making gate boarding easier and faster for Canadian passengers while maintaining strong safety measures.”

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