Airport news

American Airlines introduces new way to breeze through security at Texas airport

American Airlines adds new way to breeze through airport security

DFW Airport
Get through the line and to the plane faster. Photo courtesy of Ibarra Engineers

As airports experience a crush of travel delays, American Airlines is making it easier to get through security checkpoints at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines just rolled out its new Mobile ID feature at DFW. Anyone with a mobile phone, a TSA PreCheck membership, an AAdvantage number, and either a driver’s license or U.S. passport can now verify their identity with facial recognition at DFW’s security checkpoints.

Later this year, American will launch Mobile ID at Miami International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Washington Reagan National Airport, and other airports.

By simplifying the identity verification, “we’re helping our customers exchange stress for convenience and saved time, and propelling the travel industry further along the path to a truly seamless customer experience,” says Julie Rath, vice president of customer experience, loyalty, and marketing at American.

Here’s how you can join the Mobile ID program:

  • Sign up for TSA PreCheck if you don’t already have it.
  • Download Airside’s Digital Identity App for iOS or Android devices. 
  • Take a photo of your face.
  • Scan your driver’s license or passport with the app.
  • Enter your American Airlines AAdvantage number.

The app verifies a traveler’s information using technology from a company called Thales by comparing it against DMV or passport records. A customer’s data is securely stored in the app.

As they pass through security, a traveler presents a QR code on their phone and agrees to share their American Airlines Mobile ID with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). After that, a traveler looks into a camera at the TSA PreCheck checkpoint. TSA’s computer system then matches the customer’s encrypted image against their Mobile ID. The entire airport process typically takes less than five seconds.

Once a traveler’s identity is verified, TSA erases their encrypted digital ID from its checkpoint readers, and the traveler retains the digital ID on their device until they’re ready to use it at another spot, such as an airport lounge. 

American tested digital ID in 2021 for touchless bag drops and Admirals Club entry at DFW. American customers participating in the tests could use facial recognition instead of presenting a government- issued ID, boarding pass, or American-branded credit card to check their bag or enter the lounge.

In the future, American will introduce similar technology at airport kiosks, bag checks, and domestic boarding gates. American travelers already can verify their identity through facial recognition provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at several international boarding gates.