United Airlines Lets Travelers Scan Passport Using its App

Customers can scan their passports to check-in for international flights via their mobile devices

United Airlines has updated its iOS and Android app to enable international travelers to scan their passports on their own within 24 hours of departure using their smartphone camera. It is the first U.S. airline to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check-in for international flights via their mobile device.

The beta launch of this passport scanning functionality on the United app gives customers the convenient option of either verifying their existing stored passport data or scanning their passport. The app uses the device’s camera feature to capture travelers’ passports, in a similar way to how many mobile banking deposits function. A third party (the credentials management service Jumio) will then verify the scanned passport information for additional security and to help prevent fraudulent activity.

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Once the verification process is complete, customers can obtain a printable boarding pass. Those requiring additional travel documentation, such as visas, will need to continue to check-in at the airport before their journey. Mark Nasr, United Airlines’ managing director of eCommerce, says:

We are focused on building the most useful travel app for our customers. The new passport scanning feature saves valuable time and provides customers with more options to control their travel experience.

MileagePlus members who have previously scanned their passport at a kiosk will be asked to verify their stored passport data and won’t need to scan their passport unless they need to update the information or add a new passport. Scanned passports will be saved to their MileagePlus profile, with a maximum of two passports issued by different countries. This update to the United Airlines app also enables travelers to see what time boarding ends on their ticketed flight, so they can grab a quick snack or a magazine before they have to be at the gate.

United Airlines

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