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New American Airlines mobile app feature uses secure passport chip technology for faster international boarding

American Airlines passengers now have a simpler way to check in for international flights as the airline has introduced passport scanning to its mobile app.

American Airlines claims to be the first airline to offer passport chip scanning that securely transmits passport information directly from the NFC chip embedded in the passport. This allows passengers to head directly to the gate for international flights, without having their passports rechecked by a customer service agent.

American Airlines’ mobile app now enables passengers
to scan their passports by NFC to speed the check in process

Maya Leibman, American Airlines’ Chief Information Officer said:

We are continuously adding features to our app to make travel easier and worry-free for our customers. Mobile passport scanning removes a time-consuming step, providing our customers with a smoother check-in experience for international flights.

Currently, customers departing on international flights who check in on the app, have their passports rechecked at the airport. This step is required even if the customer has uploaded a photo of their passport via the mobile app. With this new enhancement, the customer will be prompted to enter their passport information and then scan their passport with an iOS or Android device. The app provides easy-to-follow instructions for the process.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

This is a great use of new technology by American Airlines and fixes one issue: wasted time at airports waiting to check in. American Airlines’ 130,000 global team members serve more than 200 million customers annually. So any technology that speeds up the process and removes hassle for passengers has to be a good idea. I am looking forward to trying it out soon.

Mobile passport scanning is the latest in a long line of new customer features American Airlines has implemented to the airline’s app to make travel easier for customers. Other recent introductions include boarding notifications, Siri shortcuts and a dark mode option. American has also rolled out additional services to improve the travel experiences, including biometric international boarding, virtual 3D aircraft tours online, a redesigned self-service kiosk menu that simplifies the check-in process and an improved family seating approach, which ensures adults and kids under 14, when travelling together on the same reservation, are seated together.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to fly on American Airlines.

New UK Passport Exit Checks.

Data on all passengers leaving the UK will now be collected and handed to the Home Office. The new scheme will be phased in at the country’s ports and border crossings.

Officials will now record the details of all travellers leaving by air, sea and rail. It is thought that the new checks will have a dis-proportionate affect on cross-channel ferry and Channel Tunnel travellers.

For the first month all passports will be scanned, but only 25% of the passport holders will have their details verified to ensure they are genuine, in a bid to minimise disruption. After a month, there will be a move to 50% verification and by the middle of June 100% verification will be introduced.

Brazil – Foreign Office Advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have recently updated their advice for people travelling to Brazil.

Firstly, your passport should be stamped with an entry stamp from the Brazilian immigration authorities upon arrival. This also applies when you arrive by land. If you do not have your passport stamped, you may be requested to pay a fine before departing.

It is also important that you retain your immigration landing card that is required to leave the country – if you lose it you could be subject to a fine.

In some instances you may also be required to pay an airport tax of R$65 if this has not been paid with your airline ticket.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you have recently visited a country, which is known to suffer from outbreaks of Yellow Fever, you will need to show that you have been vaccinated against the disease.