American Airlines launches mobile app passport scanning


American Airlines’ app now offers passport chip scanning that securely transmits passport information directly from the Near Field Communication (NFC) chip embedded in the passport.

Passengers travelling with American Airlines can now check-in using the airline’s app to scan the chip on the back page of their passports and verify their details.

American Airlines claims it has become the first airline to offer passport chip scanning that securely transmits passport information directly from the Near Field Communication (NFC) chip embedded in the passport. This allows customers to head directly to the gate for international flights without having their passports rechecked by a customer service agent.

“We are continuously adding features to our app to make travel easier and worry-free for our customers,” said Maya Leibman, Chief Information Officer, American Airlines. “Mobile passport scanning removes a time-consuming step, providing our customers with a smoother check-in experience for international flights.”

Currently, customers departing on international flights who check in using the app have their passports rechecked at the airport. This step is required even if the customer has uploaded a photo of their passport via the mobile app. With this new enhancement, the customer will be prompted to enter their passport information and then scan their passport with an iOS or Android device. The app provides easy-to-follow instructions for the process.

The passport will still need to be shown at the airport during boarding, but it won’t have to be opened and scanned, saving passengers and employees time, the airline says.

Mobile passport scanning is the latest in a line of new customer features American has implemented to the airline’s app to make travel easier for customers. Other recent introductions include boarding notifications, Siri shortcuts and a dark mode option. American has also rolled out additional services to improve the travel experience, including biometric international boarding, virtual 3D aircraft tours online, a redesigned self-service kiosk menu that simplifies the check-in process and an improved family seating approach, which ensures adults and children under 14, when travelling together on the same reservation, are seated together.

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