Smartboarding, the automated boarding process

Old Mar 10, 09, 12:16 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Programs: Flying Blue Plat
Posts: 35
Smartboarding, the automated boarding process

Hi everyone,

Starting on Tuesday, 17 March and up to the end of 2009, Air France will be asking those Flying Blue customers who travel most frequently from Paris to Amsterdam to test the new automated boarding system, smartboarding.

This new system is a world first. With a personal card which contains the latest biometric technology (encrypted fingerprints), RFID (radio frequency identification) and thermal printing (the back of the card can be reused up to 500 times), these passengers will be able to board through a dedicated portal whenever they choose.

Developed together with Citizengate, the smartboarding® service has 4 stages:

1. In a special office at the airport (Paris-Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2F), customers can obtain their personal smartboarding® card in just a few minutes which is immediately operational. During registration, all the customer’s identity information (surname, first name, Flying Blue membership number), as well as their encrypted fingerprints is transmitted to the smart card. This registration stage is only carried out once and no files are kept by
Air France.

2. On the day of departure, after having checked in by whichever means they have chosen (self-service kiosks, Internet, mobile phone, check-in counter), customers insert their card into the smartboarding® kiosk which comes out with their boarding pass printed on the back.

3. As soon as boarding starts, passengers choose the precise time they wish to board through a dedicated portal situated near the jetway. This equipment checks that the passenger is alone and then reads the information on the smartboarding® card and compares it with the passenger’s fingerprints. If these tests, which are the equivalent of the usual checks carried out to match a boarding card (paper or mobile phone) to a passport are positive, the gate opens to allow the passenger to board the aircraft.

4. At the door of the aircraft, passengers show the back of their card to the crew, in the same way as a normal boarding pass.

“For the last few years, Air France has embarked on a process of trial and innovation to contribute to designing the air transport of the future. Everything that can make air travel simpler and easier for our customers has become the focus. With this world first, Air France is taking a further step towards building the airport of tomorrow" explained Patrick Roux, Vice President Marketing Air France KLM

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Does anyone know how to enroll (conditions)?

Last edited by frcs88; Mar 10, 09 at 12:21 pm
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Old Mar 10, 09, 12:17 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Programs: Flying Blue Plat
Posts: 35
By the way
here is a video
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Old Mar 10, 09, 5:17 pm
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This is an excellent initiative!!

I am usually very critical of AF not doing enough to make procedures on the ground more efficient (and I had a good laugh at the last paragraph of their press statement), but credit where credit is due. Bravo AF!

I hope and wish that this trial will be a success, that many pax adopt the new system, that the system won't suffer from the usual bad reliability of AF technical solutions, and that it won't die the same death as PEGASE did at the time (which wasn't Air France's fault at all).

Bonne chance to this new service!
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Old Mar 11, 09, 6:16 am
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Join Date: May 2004
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With this new initiative, passengers can now board whenever they choose and/or board early enough in order to get a seat in our award-winning Cobus 3000s!
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Old Mar 11, 09, 7:15 am
Join Date: May 2008
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That's awesome. Really jealous that I never go to Amsterdam. Its a great idea and I hope to see it rolled out to all CDG departures
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Old Mar 12, 09, 3:40 am
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I always wondered if there's a legal requirement to check ID when flying between Schengen countries or is it just something airlines do for revenue protection? If it is legally required, why? You can easily drive or get the train across the border without ID.

When travelling BA or BD on UK domestics ID is never checked at the gate and so boarding is slightly quicker than on other airlines that check ID on domestics for revenue protection purposes.

What I'm saying is if ID is not legally required for CDG - AMS it'd make things even simpler if they cut out the fingerprint step? If ID verification is needed could they not integrate with Privium somehow (or would this break data protection laws)? Eventually rolling out the same system in AMS and CDG with the need for only one card would be a great idea.
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Old Mar 12, 09, 3:54 am
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Aylesbury, UK
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Originally Posted by layz View Post
... What I'm saying is if ID is not legally required for CDG - AMS ...
Often airlines require ID even if the "authorities" do not. An example of this would be LHR-EDI for which BMI used to require ID.

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