Some Air Canada customers travelling through Vancouver (YVR) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ) airports will be the first to try this new method of digital identification in an ongoing pilot project. This new process will improve and facilitate the passenger experience at the airport as they will only need their mobile device to proceed with boarding.
At the time of writing, the pilot project is targeting customers boarding select flights from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Winnipeg (YWG), as well as those who wish to access the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).
During this pilot phase, the new digital identification will be progressively implemented in other Canadian airports and Maple Leaf lounges.
“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.
We are very excited to now take a leadership position in Canada and test digital identification using facial recognition technology to validate customer identification quickly, securely and accurately at select airport touchpoints. Participation in digital identification is voluntary. Customers choosing to use digital identification will benefit from a simplified and seamless process at the gate and when entering our Maple Leaf Lounges,” said Craig Landry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Air Canada.
How digital identification works
If you own a smartphone, chances are you already use this technology to unlock it. Indeed, many mobile devices such as the iPhone, Samsung and Google Pixel of this world use facial recognition for several years now.
As for the digital identification at the airport with Air Canada, here are the different steps to follow when using the application from your mobile device to create your digital profile:
- From the menu, tap Personal data
- Tap Digital Identification
- Consent and tap Create a digital profile
- Scan your passport picture page
- Scan the chip on your passport using your phone
- Take a selfie
And that’s it, your digital profile will be created and saved on your device! You will then need to go through the digital identification booth to perform facial recognition.
This announcement will help simplify and improve the boarding process. Now that we are using paper tickets less and less, it will be possible to board an Air Canada flight without showing your passport.
To learn more about Air Canada’s digital identification system, visit this page.
Please note that this new digital identification process is completely optional and not mandatory for boarding an aircraft. In addition, biometric data is encrypted and stored only in the customer’s cell phone to protect the privacy of each individual.