Alaska Airlines is using San Jose Mineta International Airport as a testbed for its latest technology.
The carrier is looking at all areas of the airport experience, from the check-in halls to boarding, to see where technologies such as biometrics can be implemented.
Charu Jain, senior vice president of merchandizing and innovation, says: “We are looking for unique ways to create a seamless travel experience for our guests. We’re using tech to also empower and equip our employees with the latest tools to offer the most caring service for our guests.”
A new check-in and self-bag drop system is being tested which the airline says will halve the 8.5 minutes people usually spend in the lobby.
Alaska Airlines is also providing tables with iPads enabling passengers to scan boarding passes and print bag tags.
Biometrics are being used to speed up boarding for international flights from the airport with facial recognition technology removing the need for documents to be checked.
Jain says: “Boarding with biometric technology uses facial recognition to verify identity and shorten security procedures for those passengers who opt into the programs. For guests who are concerned about security, we do not retain any imagery and offer our guests the opt-in option to use biometrics. While it will never be mandatory, we believe it is the future of travel.”
The airline recently announced a partnership with Caravelo to offer passengers a flight subscription service.
Last year it unveiled a partnership with Boeing to test new technologies that aim to boost safety and sustainability.