American Airlines launches mobile identity verification with TSA PreCheck

Launched at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), American Airlines AAdvantage members who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck can choose to use their American Airlines Mobile ID at select TSA PreCheck checkpoints to have their identity verified.

American Airlines has launched a new partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to test mobile identification. Customers with TSA PreCheck can now walk through the airport with just their phone and face.

Launched at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), American Airlines AAdvantage members who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck can choose to use their American Airlines Mobile ID at select TSA PreCheck checkpoints to have their identity verified. The experience is now available at all DFW TSA PreCheck locations, with plans to roll out to select TSA PreCheck checkpoints at Miami International Airport (MIA), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and later this year.

“We are committed to making it easier for our customers to travel, and airport waypoints offer significant opportunities for innovation,” said Julie Rath, vice president of customer experience, loyalty and marketing for American. “By simplifying the process of identity verification and other points at the airport, we are helping our customers trade stress for convenience and saving time, and propel the travel industry further down the path to ‘a truly seamless customer experience.”

Prior to travel, American Airlines customers with TSA PreCheck who choose to participate in this program must download the Airside Digital Identity app to an iOS or Android device, then take a photo of their face, scan their driver’s license or passport with the app, and enter their American Airlines AAdvantage number. The app then verifies customer information using Thales-powered mobile ID technology against records from each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or the NFC chip embedded in the passport. The app also securely stores the customer’s American Airlines Mobile ID on their mobile device until they choose where and when to share it.

At security checkpoint, customers simply present a QR code on their phone and consent to share their American Airlines mobile ID with the TSA. After sharing their mobile ID, customers look at a camera at the TSA PreCheck checkpoint. The TSA’s computer system then matches the customer’s encrypted image with their American Airlines Mobile ID. According to American Airlines, the entire process at the airport usually takes less than five seconds.

Once verified, the TSA erases the encrypted digital ID from its checkpoint readers and customers keep their digital ID on their device until they are ready to use it at another checkpoint, such as an airport lounge.

The launch was informed by earlier digital ID trials that American introduced in 2021 for contactless bag drop and Admirals Club entry at DFW. US customers participating in these trials have the option of using facial recognition technology instead of presenting a government-issued ID, boarding pass or co-branded credit card to check baggage or enter the living room. Since a passport or driver’s license is accepted, this trial provides broad accessibility for travelers to experience that easy next step in travel and offers a scalable solution for future national security touchpoints.

“We are grateful for the collaboration and support of our stakeholders in moving the industry forward to deliver innovative security screening solutions to help customers travel safely,” said Kriste Jordan-Smith, Director Federal Security, DFW Airport, for the TSA. “We will continue to take an agile approach to developing a stress-free and secure travel experience for TSA PreCheck passengers, and we look forward to expanding this technology in the future.”

Going forward, American will roll out similar technology to additional kiosks, baggage screening and domestic gates. U.S. customers can already verify their identity through face matching provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at several international gates today.

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