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American Airlines adds option for face scans instead of IDs

American Airlines planes at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)

Some American Airlines passengers flying out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport can have their faces scanned rather than handing a Transportation Security Administration agent their driver’s license or passport, the company said.

The new procedure at some Dallas-Fort Worth checkpoints started Wednesday and is reserved for passengers who have signed up for the TSA’s PreCheck service. The carrier said it plans to expand the option this year to checkpoints in Miami and Phoenix, and at Washington’s Reagan National Airport as well as other locations.

The concept has been tried elsewhere, including on Delta Air Lines flights from Detroit and Atlanta.

Passengers must download an app from the technology provider Airside and create an American Airlines mobile ID. Customers scan their face and physical identification card when they set up their mobile ID, then show the TSA a QR code on their phone and scan their face as they go through security, according to American.

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The TSA system matches a passenger’s face with the data in the mobile ID, the company said.

“The entire process at the airport typically takes less than five seconds,” the company said, adding that TSA then erases the encrypted ID from the scanning devices at the checkpoint.