Austrian Airlines Introduces Biometric Recognition System for Contactless Boarding

More+More+ ♦ Published: November 5, 2021; 15:25 ♦ (Vindobona)

Starting November 9, AUA Austrian Airlines plans to test a facial recognition system for fast and contactless boarding in Vienna that has already been tested by Lufthansa.

A facial recognition system, which matches a human face from a digital image or a video frame against a database of faces. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Tokumeigakarinoaoshima, CC BY-SA 4.0

“Roll camera!” is the motto on 9 November, when Austrian Airlines and Vienna International Airport jointly introduce the biometric recognition system for contactless travel.

Star Alliance Biometrics facilitates boarding without presenting the boarding pass and passing through security access quickly and contactless. 

However, this feature is exclusive for Miles & More members only.

After a one-time registration via the Miles & More App and accepting the terms of use, frequent flyers can access boarding pass control and selected quick-boarding-gates contactless.

A special infrastructure has been set up at the Vienna hub in Terminal 3.

The biometric recognition system not only allows for more travel comfort for frequent flyers, in times of increased hygiene standards, it also provides an important contribution to health protection. Since the facial recognition technology is not affected, passengers can keep their FFP2-mask on, which is mandatory inside the terminal.

“The optimization of travel processes is a top priority for us. With biometric technology, we can offer our frequent flyers more travel comfort and a contactless passenger journey. Once registered, the free service can now be used for Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss flights at our Vienna hub in addition to Munich and Frankfurt airports," says Austrian Airlines CCO Michael Trestl.

“Despite the crisis, we keep our quality offensive going and invest in innovative and digital solutions. Miles & More members can take off almost contactless in Vienna, thanks to the biometric technology. We are delighted to be one of three German-speaking airports offering this advanced service” says Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna International Airport AG.

Contactless travel – this is how it works

Star Alliance Biometrics uses an identification solution based on the facial recognition technology NEC I:Delight from the Japanese NEC Corporation.

It is available for free to all Miles & More members who have agreed on the use of their biometric data.

The one-time registration via Miles & More App can be done in just a few steps.

During registration, members are asked to take a photo of themselves, confirm their identity with their passport and select the airlines and airports where they would like to use the service. Personal data such as photos and other identification features are encrypted and safely stored within the platform.

The system has been developed in compliance with applicable data protection laws and is based on the latest facial recognition technology. The storage of personal data is limited to a necessary minimum. For example, no customer names are stored.

The one-time registration must be completed 24 hours before departure.

Austrian Airlines