Biometric boarding at Miami International

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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Lufthansa has become the first airline to replace boarding passes with cameras on flights from Miami.

Passengers departing from Miami airport to Munich on Lufthansa flight 461 can now board without a boarding pass and passport, thanks to the airport’s launch of biometric exit technology this week.

“MIA continues to explore innovative ways of streamlining and expediting the travel experience for visitors to our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “I look forward to seeing biometric exit technology expand throughout MIA and enhance the level of customer service for its passengers.”

Through a partnership between MIA, Lufthansa, US Customs and Border Protection and global air transport IT provider SITA, a photograph taken at Lufthansa’s boarding gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and authorize them to travel. The facial recognition verification process takes less than two seconds with a 99% matching rate, according to CBP. MIA expects to launch biometric boarding with additional airlines this year.

“CBP is leading the transformation of the travel experience, but we could never do this alone,” said CBP Miami Port Director Christopher Maston. “Our collaboration with our partners at the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Lufthansa and SITA has resulted in real momentum toward enhancing both traveler safety and convenience at MIA.”

“Lufthansa prides itself as being an industry leader and trendsetter in digitalisation and innovation, and biometric boarding is a large part of this category,” said Dr Bjoern Becker, Lufthansa Group Senior Director Product Management Ground & Digital Services. “Biometric boarding is an efficient and hassle-free form of travel that helps speed up the boarding process while also increasing security. We are thrilled to be the launch airline that introduces this technological advancement at MIA.”

The launch of biometric exit at MIA follows the airport’s February 2018 opening of America’s first all-biometric entry facility at Concourse E. The facility screens all international arrivals using facial recognition and has decreased processing times by as much as 80% for participating airlines.

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