United and San Francisco airport test biometric experience on domestic flights.

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San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines were the first in the United States to test a low-touch biometric experience for domestic travelers. With SITA’s Smart Path solution, passengers participating in the program on selected flights can link their driver’s license with their facial biometrics at check-in. That way, they can move through the airport, from check-in to baggage claim to security to boarding, simply by scanning their face at each touchpoint.

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By 2020, more than half of the international flights at SFO used biometric data for boarding. Today, the airport and United Airlines are extending that experience to domestic passengers on SFO-specific flights at various stages of travel.

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“United Airlines has been a leader in providing a touchless experience for our customers, from our partnership with CLEAR, to being the first airline to implement touchless kiosks in our check-in lounges. Together with SITA, we look forward to participating in this trial and exploring new technologies that will help inform our biometric offerings in the future, as well as offer our domestic customers a frictionless experience while traveling through SFO,” said United Airlines’ vice president of Airport Operations at SFO, Lori Augustine.

“We strongly believe that touchless technologies will be an important part of the post-pandemic air travel experience and are proud that United Airlines has chosen SFO as the location to test this SITA solution. This collaboration shows our collective commitment to restoring air travel to an even higher standard of security and efficiency for our guests. We thank United Airlines and SITA for their leadership and vision in this effort,” said San Francisco International Airport Director Ivar C. Satero.

With Smart Path, your face is your boarding pass. United Airlines passengers simply link their driver’s license and flight details to their facial biometrics. Passengers then go to a biometrically enabled camera to check their bags, go through security or board the plane without having to hand over their photo ID or boarding pass. This reduces physical contact and provides a more efficient process for travelers and employees.

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