Alaska Airlines Test Program Replaces Boarding Passes with Fingerprints
Alaska Airlines completed a test program at Mineta San Jose International Airport that allowed passengers to use their fingerprints instead of government-issued IDs and boarding passes to drop off their bags, pass through the security checkpoint and board their planes.
"Alaska chose San Jose as the test site because it's an early adopter community, there are a lot of tech-savvy commuters who fly regularly and because it has the CLEAR program in place," reported USA Today.
For the test, Alaska employees approached some passengers at the airport with an invitation to participate. Others received invites via email. No fees were required to be part of the test, said USA Today.
"Those who signed up for the test went through an enrollment process that took about 20 minutes. After that, they were permitted to use their fingerprints to access the TSA screening area through the CLEAR lane. Fingerprint readers at the boarding gates were able to pull up a passenger's boarding pass for the gate agent to review," said USA Today.
According to the report, this isn't the first time Alaska Airlines has used biometrics to give passengers special treatment. In 2014, the airline asked 10,000 customers with Board Room lounge memberships if they'd like to use their fingerprints to gain expedited access to lounge rooms in Seattle, Anchorage, Portland and Los Angeles at no extra cost.