3 AUGUST 2015
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Alaska Airlines hopes the future of aviation security will allow customers to leave their boarding passes and even their driver's licences at home.
About 200 customers of the airline who regularly fly out of Mineta San Jose International Airport (Silicon Valley, north of Los Angles) are in a pilot programme that allows a machine to scan their eyeballs or examine their fingerprints when checking in bags, going through airport security and boarding a plane – rather than produce IDs and boarding passes.
Alaska Airlines quietly launched the pilot programme in April through a partnership with the New York-based airport security firm CLEAR, which charges members US$179 a year to get through security quickly, and operates out of 12 domestic airports. In exchange for agreeing to additional screening in advance, travellers can bypass security lines.
The technology is called biometrics – an authentication technique that uses individuals' physical characteristics to confirm their identities. When programme participants board an Alaska Airlines aircraft out of San Jose, they swipe their fingers on a tablet rather than show boarding passes. https://www.clearme.com
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