Air Canada is testing out new digital identification for travellers arriving in Winnipeg from Vancouver.
The new feature allows customers to use facial recognition technology to confirm their identity upon boarding a flight. Air Canada says it’s the first airline in the country to offer the technology.
“Many of our customers already utilize digital credentials to simplify their daily activities such as unlocking mobile phones, entering workplaces, verifying identification during financial transactions and more,” said Craig Landry, Air Canada’s executive vice-president and chief operations officer, in a release.
Travellers departing from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) when boarding select flights to Winnipeg can voluntarily participate in the digital identification. Eligible customers entering the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport can also opt-in for facial recognition.
The airline says eligible customers will receive an invitation to use the digital identification option and instructions on how to create their secure digital faceprint prior to arriving at the airport. Customers can also still manually present their boarding pass and government-issued photo ID at the gate.
Air Canada says the biometric data it collects is encrypted and stored only on the customer’s mobile phone. Additional consent is needed for the airline to use the data on the day-of travel, which is then retained for 36 hours by the airline.