Lonely Planet Writer

One airline is set to allow air passengers to use selfies as boarding passes

Get your lipstick on and find a good angle; in a move that is sure to divide travellers, you may soon be using a selfie as your airplane boarding pass.

Your boarding pass selfie will be a little less glamorous than this. Image by Philipp Nemenz
Your boarding pass selfie will be a little less glamorous than this. Image by Philipp Nemenz

The announcement is the latest airline initiative designed to cut waiting times for passengers. It will be trialled this summer by JetBlue with passengers flying from Boston’s Logan airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport. If successful, it may be rolled out to a lot more flights.

Of course, the reality is a little more hi-tech than using your phone and finding some natural light. Passengers who opt-in to the trial at the airport can put away their boarding passes and seek out the custom camera station near the gate.

Here they’ll snap a photo and wait for clearance to enter the aircraft while JetBlue staff will be on hand to assist if you run into any problems. The self-boarding is eco-friendly as you don’t need to print any boarding passes but primarily has been designed to reduce long waiting times when boarding.

The process for JetBlue's new facial recognition boarding pass. Image by JetBlue
The process for JetBlue’s new facial recognition boarding pass. Image by JetBlue

“We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way.”

JetBlue is not the only airline experimenting with facial recognition software in order to improve customer experience. Delta announced earlier this month it is testing a speedy self-service baggage drop using the technology, while British Airways have already introduced biometric boarding gates at Heathrow Airport.