Innovative guest boarding solution showcases the future possibility for touchless and secure boarding options for Canadian travellers
CALGARY, AB, Nov. 25, 2021 /CNW/ - Yesterday, WestJet, together with TELUS, trialled Trusted Boarding, a touchless process that uses safe and secure facial verification technology to verify travellers' identity prior to boarding a flight. The trial was the first-of-its-kind in Canada and took place at the YYC Calgary International Airport. Trial photos and b-roll are available for download here.
"The travel experience is evolving to include many touchless processes and WestJet is innovating to ensure our guests' travel journey improves to become more seamless and efficient, while prioritizing safety above all," said Stuart McDonald, Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer. "The Trusted Boarding trial is a union between technology and WestJet that would in the future help our agents and our guests with contactless document validation."
WestJet's Trusted Boarding trial demonstrated that the responsible use of biometric boarding technology provides sufficient document validation and prevents non-authorized individuals from boarding an aircraft. Trial guests boarded WestJet flight 8901 through facial verification with their digital identity wallet on Embross' Canadian made biometric hardware and boarding application at Gate 88. The trial marked the first step towards the implementation of the technology as WestJet works with the Government of Canada to seek full approval for its use as a safe and secure alternative for future WestJet boarding at Canadian airports.
"As air travel gradually reopens, the passenger experience continues to evolve. Our groundbreaking, built in Canada solution allows travellers to enjoy a secure, touchless identity verification experience, while ensuring they are able to maintain control of their personal data," said Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer, TELUS. "This level of control establishes and increases consumer trust by addressing privacy, security, and ethical data risks from the start, while providing transparency to customers."
Trusted Boarding supports a more digital Canada using Canadian innovation. It employs a self-sovereign identity ecosystem (the creation of unique, private and secure connections between two trusted parties) through a TELUS-provisioned digital identity wallet in a smartphone application for IOS and Android. It provides contactless document validation, where a facial verification scan is matched with a traveller's documentation that has been uploaded to the app prior to boarding. Importantly, the app ensures users retain control of their personal information at all times, meaning they can securely share their verified personal credentials and revoke access when the data is no longer needed.
The identity platform was developed by one37 and document integrity validation is provided by Oaro, ensuring the solution follows all data protection and privacy regulations covered under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
"OARO is so proud to be part of this industry leading trial. The addition of biometrics to the travel journey provides a much improved airport experience moving us closer to a more safe and secure contactless travel experience."
- Mike Maxwell, Aviation Lead for OARO
"As a global leader in passenger self service solutions, the Trusted Boarding initiative heavily aligns with our vision of empowering travellers and providing them with a seamless and convenient travel experience. Continuing Embross' decade-long technology partnership with Westjet, this collaboration with Telus and partners, marks a great example of Canadian-developed technologies benefiting Canadian travellers. We're excited to see the success of the initiative and work with regulatory authorities to bring that benefit to travellers across Canada."
- Myles Tzelepis, VP Product & Marketing, Embross
"Taking the hassle out of travel is long-overdue. Using the one37 platform, travellers can now securely and privately share their data with WestJet, cutting the wait time, and skipping the lines, while enjoying a contactless experience. This pilot with WestJet, a visionary airline, and TELUS, a leader in digital transformation, is ushering a new era of travel by enforcing trusted data exchanges between all stakeholders."
- Fadwa Mohanna, CEO, one37
About TELUSTELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. We leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. In 2020, TELUS was recognized as having the fastest wireless network in the world, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada's leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that delivers next-generation AI and content management solutions for global brands across the technology and games, ecommerce and FinTech, communications and media, healthcare, travel and hospitality sectors. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world. Together, let's make the future friendly.
Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $820 million and 1.6 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.
For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com .
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Recent recognition includes:
2020/2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty)
2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada)
SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership