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Uplift the air travel experience – a post-Covid flight plan

Uplift the air travel experience – a post-Covid flight plan

  • Aviation / Aerospace
  • North America
  • Others
  • Others

Throughout the pandemic, NEC has been working on a number of solutions to help to arrest the spread of COVID-19. new windowNEC’s iQuarantine application is a mobile check-in and case management system that allows users to report their location and health status from their own homes.

Drawing on our experience with Delta Airlines in the US, we continue to work on new solutions to unify requirements into one complete solution.

Customer: Star Alliance and Delta Airlines

Industry: Travel

As countries around the world emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic solutions will be required to streamline the travel experience. Airports and airlines need to find solutions to help with:
– Reducing personal contact and surface contact
– Securing and streamlining identification
– Enhancing intuitive self-service options
– Optimising seamless travel in the post-Covid future

NEC’s Digital ID solution has been rolled out in airports around the world, to help to streamline the experience from curb to gate. A more unified experience is necessary to meet all the challenges that airports face in keeping travellers safe, whilst improving the overall experience within the airport.

International travel will include new restrictions in and around airports, as part of an on-going battle to manage the spread of COVID-19. Solutions such as thermal screening will help to detect elevated body temperatures, hygienic technology screens. More importantly, contactless facial recognition to identify passengers and staff with or without masks will become commonplace in airports, according to experts.

NEC’s seamless travel solutions continue to evolve, particularly in the field of biometrics offering a completely seamless experience from the curb to the gate, incorporating safety checks that will help to tackle the spread of viruses. The addition of thermal screening and facial recognition with masks will provide an additional layer of safety for travellers.

Seamless airport experience in Atlanta

In 2018, NEC partnered with Delta Airlines in Atlanta to launch the first biometric terminal in the United States. Customers flying directly to an international destination were given the option to use facial recognition from curb to gate, transforming the customer journey with a seamless experience through the airport.

The end-to-end Delta Biometrics experience used facial recognition technology to:

  • Check in at the self-service kiosks in the lobby
  • Drop checked baggage at the counters in the lobby
  • Serve as identification at the TSA checkpoint
  • Board a flight at any gate on concourse F
  • And go through CBP processing for international travellers arriving in the U.S.

New seamless travel solution provides a unified experience

In order to provide a safe and seamless experience for travellers in a post-COVID-19 world, NEC has been working on a new and complete seamless travel solution. This solution offers:

  • Seamless integration of all components
  • Compatible with existing equipment and systems
  • Works with all genders and races, faces covered by face mask
  • Fast, highly accurate results

The focus for airlines and airports around the world is on minimising contact points. The minute you arrive at the airport, passengers are able to use their face as a secure and effective way of contactless identification. This form of identity is also used during the check-in process including baggage drop and security screening.

No longer will passengers be required to handle boarding passes – your face will be your boarding pass and NEC-driven technology will verify your identity enabling safe and seamless passage to board your flight.

Star Alliance biometrics

In July 2019, NEC signed a partnership agreement with Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, to develop a biometric data-based identification platform, significantly improving the travel experience for customers of Star Alliance member airlines.

Star Alliance customers who opt-in to biometrics will enjoy a seamless and hands-free travel experience, allowing them to pass from curb-to-gate through touchpoints within airports, e.g. check-in kiosks, bag-drop, lounges, and boarding gates. Traditionally these touchpoints require a passport and or a boarding pass.

The partnership with Star Alliance means that in New Zealand, Air New Zealand has access to our new seamless travel solution. This means that airports, including Auckland International, can benefit from the new seamless travel solutions, further enhancing the customer experience at Auckland Airport.

New technology adds new level to biometric solution

Our new seamless travel solution incorporates new technology as an integral part of the airport experience. These technologies include:

  • Thermal screening which can detect anyone with elevated body temperature. Employees and travellers can be screened via:
    • Pause and Go – a self-check system that gives a green light for normal body temperatures or:
    • Free Flow – which screens temperatures in open spaces as groups walk by sensors
  • Hygienic technology screens
  • NeoFace Thermal Express can flag employees and travellers who are not wearing masks as required

These technologies will help reduce the risk to travellers in airports, identifying people who are potentially contagious, screening them before they board their flight.

Pay by Face technology to roll out

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the integration of specific technology into our day to day lives. Contactless solutions and remote working solutions have meant that some technologies have been more widely rolled out.


NEC continues to work with Star Alliance and Delta Airlines to roll out new seamless travel solutions. Once international airports are able to welcome travellers contactless solutions will continue to be adopted by both airports and airlines, looking at ways to keep customers safe while improving the airport experience. In New Zealand, Air New Zealand, a member of the Star Alliance network, may utilise these new seamless travel solutions to help improve the customer experience and ensure we keep our borders safe.