JetBlue Testing Passenger Facial-Recognition Technology

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — JetBlue is testing a new system that would mean passengers no longer need to show a boarding pass at the gate before getting on a plane.

It looks like a scene out of a futuristic science fiction movie: a machine that scans a passenger’s face so he or she can board an airplane without showing any documentation.

Starting in June, JetBlue will start testing facial-recognition technology on flights from Boston to Aruba.

Passengers will be photographed at the gate before boarding and checked against their passport or visa photos on file with United States Customs and Border Protection.

“I’m normally traveling with my little guy. Having to juggle my phone and my boarding pass. Sometimes it’s a little complicated and stressful. Just to scan me, that’d be amazing,” Amber Esquibel said.

But not everyone is embracing the technology.

“It’s just kind of weird,” traveler Olivia Gonzales said. “It’s the same feeling with location services on phones – how they’re always following you. It’s kinda like the same thing.”

“I don’t even use Snapchat because of that. I’m kind of more private,” traveler Lianna Deguzman said. “I don’t like the idea of having my face in the system.”

JetBlue is not alone in testing this new technology. This summer, Delta Airlines plans to test a facial-recognition technology to match passengers with their passport photos, clearing them to check their own bags without the help of an agent.

“Phones have the fingerprint recognition. So I think it’s a good idea,” passenger Ashley Atkins said.

The facial scan technology only applies to passengers with passports.

More from Stacey Butler
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