Airline Passengers Welcome Facial Recognition Technology

July 1, 2019

In advance of the July 4 holiday weekend, a new poll released today shows frequent flyers are embracing the use of facial recognition technology to improve security and reduce time spent waiting in lines.

“There’s a need to balance security and efficiency in the travel environment,” said David Fuscus, President of Xenophon Strategies which conducted the commissioned survey on behalf of NEC Corporation of America (NEC). “Facial recognition technology is working in airports around the world to address both problems at the same time.”

Conducted online between May 6 and June 14, 2019, the survey polled 1,955 frequent flyers and has a margin of error of 2.2 points with a 95 percent confidence level. Survey respondents are self-identified members of frequent flyer programs including those of at least three of the top major airlines operating in the United States. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they take more than 10 flights per year.

An estimated 257 million air travelers are expected to take to the skies this summer which will undoubtedly lead to busy airports and long security lines.

According to the survey, 75 percent of frequent flyers said they would favor the use of facial recognition to identify both foreign and domestic travelers. Nearly 87 percent said they would approve of the use of facial recognition to identify criminals and terrorists and protect the air travel system. In addition, passengers cited security and check-in lines as their top annoyances. More than 71 percent were willing to pay a $10 fee to bypass lines, while nearly 22 percent would embarrass themselves by singing a song to the security agent if it meant they could proceed more quickly.

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