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Trial underway to test facial recognition software at airports


(WKOW) -- A trial is underway in the U.S. to use facial recognition software at the airport.

It's a step toward touchless travel.

United Airlines and a company called Sita are testing it out at San Francisco International Airport. Passengers link their driver's license to their facial scan at check-in.

Then passengers would move through the airport without having to repeatedly take out an ID or boarding pass.

"It verifies your identity, verifies that you have a boarding pass. And so, the agent's able to eliminate the need to take possession of the documents from the traveler," said Sherry Stein, head of technology strategy at SITA Americas. "And so, it makes it a safe, low-touch experience for both the agent and the traveler alike."

The technology already exists for international flights at some airports around the world. This is the first test for U.S. domestic flights. Sita said biometric information is stored locally at the airport and is automatically deleted after flights.