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Alaska Airlines Introduces Biometric Passport Verification for International Flights

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Nick Ellis
Nick Ellis's image

Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 44U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Alaska Airlines is on a mission to revolutionize the airport experience with the use of biometric technology. And the carrier just announced the next step in its plan to achieve this vision.

As of August 29, 2023, Alaska passengers with a U.S. or Canadian passport traveling on international flights will have the option to verify their travel documents on their phones, eliminating the need for an airport passport check.

Let’s take a look at the details of Alaska Airlines’ new Mobile Verify service!

No More Human Passport Checks on International Alaska Airlines Flights

Alaska’s new Mobile Verify program is made possible by Airside, an Onfido company. It enables passengers with passports issued by the U.S. or Canada to bypass the typical passport checks that are done by a human and do it themselves on their smartphone, allowing them to get to their flight (or the lounge) faster.

“We’re reimagining the entire guest experience at our airports with the goal of getting [passengers] through the lobby in 5 minutes or less,” said Charu Jain, Senior Vice President of Innovation and Merchandising at Alaska Airlines.

“This new Mobile Verify technology creates a seamless airport experience for guests traveling internationally – eliminating the uncertainty that comes with having to wait in airport lines,” she went on to say.

How It Works

Here’s a look at what you need to do to get the Mobile Verify program up and running on your phone. The following 4 steps need to be completed only once:

  • Download the Airside Digital Identity app (iOS, Android)
  • The app will prompt you to take a selfie that clearly shows your face
  • Scan your passport’s photo page within the app
  • Hold your phone against your passport’s back cover so it can read its chip

Note that the airline says the newly created digital ID will be “securely stored on your mobile device until you choose where and when to share it.”

Alaska Airlines Mobile Verify
Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

The next 2 steps will be completed before each eligible trip. The Alaska Airlines mobile app (iOS, Android) will recognize your qualifying trip and ask you to open the Airside Digital Identity app to complete these steps:

  • Provide your departure city and date
  • Input your confirmation code

Completion of the above steps means you’re giving consent for your digital ID to be used, and the app will then tell Alaska Airlines that you are cleared to travel internationally without an in-person passport check. Again, these 2 steps above need to be completed before each international flight in order to use Mobile Verify.

Hot Tip:

Learn everything there is to know about Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan in our full program review!

Final Thoughts

Alaska’s vision of a completely biometric future for travel is coming true 1 step at a time. The release of the airline’s Mobile Verify program allows passengers to bypass human passport checks for international travel if they have a U.S. or Canadian passport.

We’re excited to see what else Alaska has up its sleeve and to try out the new Mobile Verify program for ourselves!

Nick Ellis's image

About Nick Ellis

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to leverage the perks of each.

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