Finnair deploys biometric boarding at LAX


The Finnair flight from LAX to Helsinki Airport on 9 April 2019 was the first to utilise Vision-Box’s biometric e-gates.

Following a successful go live of the contactless biometric self-boarding solution at Los Angeles International Airport, Finnair is the latest airline to enable passengers flying out of the country to board without the need to show their boarding passes or passports at the gate.

The Finnair flight from LAX to Helsinki Airport on 9 April 2019 was the first to utilise the biometric e-gates, provided by Vision-Box. Since then, passengers have been enjoying a more convenient and faster boarding process without the need to present their passport or boarding pass at the gate.

“Biometrics have great potential in enhancing both customer experience, speed and security,” says Sami Suokas, Ground Experience Manager, Finnair. “Customer feedback was very positive, and we are looking forward to having more stations to utilise biometrics in the future – including our home hub Helsinki Airport, where we plan to start biometrics tests with the airport operator Finavia and Vision-Box.”

The biometric self-boarding solution has been running since 2017 in the scope of the US Biometric Exit trial programme, following a partnership between Vision-Box, Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Here’s how it works: After the passenger approaches the self-boarding e-gate, a biometric enabled camera ergonomically integrated in the e-gate captures the passenger’s facial image. The image is securely sent to the CBP TVS (Traveler Verification Service), which conducts a matching process with the stored digital facial token, captured at the initial immigration process. Within a few seconds, the system reconciles the passenger and their flight, recognises the passenger as eligible to enter that flight, and opens the e-gate door.

The solution is based on Vision-Box Traveler flow orchestration platform, which provides unprecedented security by confirming with a higher degree of certainty the identity of boarding passengers and the authenticity of their documents via CBP Traveler Verification Service.

Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vision-Box explained: “This comprehensive platform connects passengers and all other journey actors together, within a productive trusted identity ecosystem. It relies on and is an enabler of unprecedented quality of biometric data and facial recognition matching performance. That’s what makes it so fast, accurate and secure at the same time. The result is a hassle-free experience for passengers at boarding – or possibly at any other check point. Having Finnair onboard was a straightforward process and one more confirmation that biometrics is becoming the new normal.”

Lufthansa and British Airways have also been using the solution, as part of their mission to offer hassle-free passenger experiences.