Air Canada Launches Digital ID to Skip Boarding Passes at Airports

Air Canada Air Canada Launches Digital Identification First Air

In a pilot project currently underway, Air Canada’s digital identification is now available for customers departing from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) when boarding select flights to Winnipeg, and for eligible customers entering the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport. (Air Canada)

Air Canada today officially announced the launch of its digital identification system, through its mobile app on iPhone and Android.

Essentially, the Air Canada app now allows you to create a digital ID that leverages facial recognition to confirm your ID. A current pilot project has started at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) when boarding select flights to Winnipeg. The digital ID is also being tested at the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Air Canada says it plans to expand the pilot project to select Canadian airports and Maple Leaf Lounges soon.

“We are very excited to now take a leadership position in Canada and test digital identification using facial recognition technology to validate customer identification quickly, securely and accurately at select airport touchpoints. Participation in digital identification is voluntary. Customers choosing to use digital identification will benefit from a simplified and seamless process at the gate and when entering our Maple Leaf Lounges,” said Craig Landry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Air Canada, in a statement.

How to test out this digital ID? Air Canada says eligible customers will receive invitations to try it out if they are flying from Vancouver to Winnipeg or entering the Air Canada Café in Toronto.

The Air Canada app will guide eligible customers through digital ID enrolment. Interestingly, NFC on the iPhone is leveraged to confirm your Canadian passport details. Face ID isn’t used, as the process asks for a selfie from the front camera.

According to Air Canada, “biometric data is encrypted and stored only on the customer’s mobile phone.” Customers will need to give extra consent for this data to be used on the day-of travel and it will only be kept for up to 36 hours. But once this digital ID is set up, customers will no longer need to show a boarding pass or government ID to board a flight or enter an Air Canada lounge.

Check out a video of the set up process below, and let us know if you’ve tried this or would be interested in giving it a shot:

YouTube video

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