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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology

Biometrics And What It Means For Business Travel

The travel industry, especially air security, has always at the forefront of the latest technology. Just think about, where was the first place you walked through a metal detector? Or walked through a scanning device? It was likely at an airport security line. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are always spearheading procedures to keep us safe. Want to know what they up its sleeve now? Look no further, it’s Biometrics.

 

What are biometrics?

We are all unique in our own way, like snowflakes. Biometrics is the act of using these physical and behavioral differences to identify individuals. Identifying through fingerprints is a common biometrics technique. New technology has made biometrics effective in other ways, like analyzing the irises of the eye and even full facial scans.

 

What will air travel look like in the distant future

Did you know that over 70% of airports and airlines are will be rolling out biometric scanning systems in the near future? While keeping our airports secure, they are also easing the experience for the traveler. Here is what the process will look like:

  1. Arriving at the airport, you will take a picture at a kiosk or check-in counter.
  2. That picture will be automatically matched to your passport photo in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database.
  3. You can then proceed to the TSA security checkpoint. With this verification from DHS, you can walk through without taking out your id, boarding pass, and maybe even keep your shoes and jacket on.
  4. At the gate while boarding your plane, your face will be scanned one final time. You will then be cleared and can proceed to your seat.

 

How are biometrics currently being used in travel?

Though many airports and companies are steadily working to make this a possibility, a few innovators have already weaved together biometrics and travel.

  1. CLEAR has also been at the cutting edge of biometrics for years. As an alternative to TSA PreCheck, they use biometric eye scans and finger scans to verify identification of travelers through their private security check line.   
  2. Hertz recently sped up their car rental process with the help of biometric technology. Partnering with CLEAR, they’ve introduced Fast Lane. The traveler will simply select a car and drive it towards the exit. There, they will roll down the window for a biometric face scan. The camera will identify the traveler, then lift the gate so they can get on with their day. The entire process is expected to take about 30 seconds.  It is currently only available to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards accounts. Starting at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it is expected to expand to more than 40 Hertz locations in 2019. 
  3. Delta is at the forefront of revolutionizing the entire airport experience we mentioned above. They have launched the first fully biometric airline terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. From the curb, to the baggage drop-off, through TSA checkpoint, and onto the plane; travelers will use facial recognition as identification throughout the entire airport experience. 
  4. Dubai airport has opened a new automated form of passport control. Though currently only available to business and first-class passengers, it is expected to completely replace immigration officials by 2020. Traveler’s identities will be checked and verified as they walk through a virtual aquarium, with cameras disguised as fish verifying identities. With the automated process, lines will essentially disappear, with estimates of cutting immigration control procedures to just 15 seconds. 

 

What are the benefits of biometrics for business travelers

Essentially, every step of the process through the airport will become more streamlined. You will no longer continually dig through your bag for your driver’s license or even your ticket. You will essentially walk from the curb of airport to the seat on your plane with minimal stops and lines. It is also expected to increase efficiency of the travel industry as a whole. Some say the time it takes boarding a plane will be reduced to 20 minutes. With this faster turnaround time, planes will take off on time and delays will be reduced. Overall, biometrics simplifies the process for business travelers and airlines, while also providing top-of-the-line security.

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Business Travel Guides

The Definitive Guide To Choosing Between TSA Precheck, Global Entry or CLEAR

Do you know what’s worse than the long security lines at the airport? Standing in that long line, watching travelers with TSA Precheck or CLEAR breeze past and continue onto their gate. It’s like being stuck in gridlock rush hour traffic, as a commuter train speeds around the congestion and quickly disappears into the horizon. And whenever I encounter either, I quietly vow to be one of those lucky passengers or travelers next time.

Of course, what follows is diving into the different options available, and ultimately hitting a wall of choice paralysis. Which one do I choose? Which is the best option for my lifestyle and amount that I travel? Shouldn’t I be focusing on more important things, rather than researching expedited security screening services? Well, we’re putting an end to this indecision. We’ve completed a thorough investigation and laid it all out. Now, all you have to do is read these quick summaries and decide which service would benefit you the most.

 

TSA PreCheck

How it’s different

This short cut through the security line is run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which regulates the overall security line. Because it’s regulated from within TSA, you may have previously received free TSA PreCheck status in the past. It works by bypassing the long security lines, into the designated TSA PreCheck lines. The lines are usually smaller and faster because you don’t remove shoes, belts, laptops, or liquids.

What’s the application process?

Users subscribing to TSA PreCheck fill out a short online form. Then, one must schedule an interview with a TSA agent to finish the evaluation process. The interview is typically conducted at a TSA office, meaning you will likely need to drive to your closest airport to conduct the interview. Fortunately, TSA frequently promotes events outside of the airport to complete the process.

Cost

A $85 non-refundable fee that covers a 5 year membership. (That comes out to just $17 a year.)

Upside

  • Because it runs through the existing TSA, it has been implemented thoroughly throughout the U.S. It is currently in more than 200 airports and 53 airlines.
  • They are already rolling out new advanced technology in select TSA PreCheck security lines, like facial recognition technology, and only using your driver’s license.

Downside

  • There have been recent criticisms that TSA PreCheck is potentially the slowest of these advanced security screenings. Largely due to TSA PreCheck being run by the government, it is more likely to be understaffed with long lines during high use times.
  • The $85 application fee is non-refundable, even if you are not accepted into the program.
  • Having TSA PreCheck eligibility status is included in Global Entry, so paying for it individually may not be the most effective use of a membership.

Who should sign up

Any frequent business traveler who travels within the US. It is the best deal out of all of the services, but does have some potential drawbacks.

 

Global Entry – Trusted Traveler Programs

How it’s different

This is the only service that focuses on international travel by reducing the time spent in customs lines. Run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, its biggest advantage is it can be used in customs lines coming back into the U.S. Once flying back to the States and reaching customs, Global Entry members will pass to a designated kiosk, where they will scan their fingerprints and continue through the on-screen prompts.

Other Trusted Traveler Programs include Nexus and Sentri, expediting service between only the U.S. & Canada, and the U.S. and Mexico, respectively.

 Cost

$100 one-time fee for application. Includes a 5 year membership. (That comes out to $20 a year)

What’s the application process?

An online application, plus the fee. If your application is approved, an interview with a Customs & Border Protection agent will be scheduled at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Your fingerprints will be taken, which will later be used as identification when you use a Global Entry kiosk at customs.

Upside

  • The best option for international travel.
  • Includes TSA PreCheck membership

Downside

  • The wait time for your interview can be lengthy, sometimes six months out.
  • If you are denied entry into the program, your $100 application fee will not be returned.

Who should sign up

International travelers. Even one or two trips to another country could justify the price.

 

CLEAR

How it’s different

CLEAR is the only private service, not developed through the government. As a standalone service, it addresses the long security lines from a different angle. Rather than reducing the wait time in existing security lines, they instead created their own line. It scans your identity with a fingerprint scan and an eye scan.

Cost

$179 per year (that’s $15 per month)

What’s the application process?

A simple registration form, followed by a 5 minute set-up at an enrollment center. You will need your driver’s license to continue. CLEAR can be used through airport security that same day.

Upside

  • Easiest application process
  • Does not require any additional identification through the line process, just your boarding pass.
  • Can be used concurrently with TSA Pre-check Eligibility. Use CLEAR to verify your identity, then skip ahead to the Precheck line.
  • CLEAR is branching out into other avenues, like sports stadiums, arenas, and more. Potentially, you could use it in your everyday life.

Downside

  • The most expensive option, by far.
  • Limited availability in airports, though it is growing. Currently it’s in only 30 airports in the US.

Who should sign up

A very frequent business traveler, who knows that CLEAR is available in the airports he/she frequents.

 

 

 

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Travel News Travel Technology

Clear is Back. Is it Secure?

Remember Clear?  The little biometric card that helped you speed through airport security?  
In June 2009 the original Clear closed its doors and left 200,000 traveling members stranded.  Recently Clear was purchased and relaunched by Caryn Seidman-Becker, Chairman & CEO and Ken Cornick, President & CFO.  They have recruited team members with resumes of success in many different areas, including the travel and airline industry. 
Currently Clear is available in the Orlando International Airport and the Denver International Airport, with more to come.  This team of experts is honoring memberships purchased prior to their venture and are offering new memberships and corporate programs. This new ownership and team appear to be committed to making your travel experience pleasurable, safe and secure.  To learn more about Clear you can visit their website at www.clearme.com.

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Travel News Travel Technology

It’s back – CLEAR – the Verified Identity Pass!!

I am so excited about the recent news involving CLEAR’s come-back now that the economy is beginning to recover and the long process of Alcear’s purchasing of VIP’s CLEAR assets from bankruptcy is completed.
I loved this service!! Hopefully within a year to 18 months the airports that provided the original Clear service will follow Denver’s lead. It is a much needed service for those of us who travel for business but can’t quite chalk up enough miles for the airline programs yet are on the road enough to make CLEAR’s subscription fee worth every penny!
So… all travelers who were members of Clear, those jealous every time you watched your fellow road warriors in the “Clear Lane” move quickly through the security lanes, and those who want to know more about this value-added program; go to their website and let them know which airports are important to you in providing this time-saving service.

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Travel News

Do I make myself Clear? Not!

Back in 2008, a new cool way to pass through security lines for frequent business travelers that do not have as much time as others was introduced at 18 selected airports. Clear, a company founded by Verified Identity Pass just announced this week that they would be closing up shop and would not be able to refund travelers who had prepaid or recently renewed their subsciption. That went over like a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers!
From the article written by Thomas Frank,  a statement on Verified’s website said the company “had been unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.” There was no information about whether enrollees would get refunds.
TSA’s express security grounded
This was supposed to be the best thing out there for those who were traveling on a constant basis and needing to avoid long lines. The fee was a little steep, (around $200 annually) but heck, I pay $50 a month for the Carpool lane on I-15. Maybe if Clear would have monitored those who enter the carpool lane illegally, then they might still be in business.
We have become a society of quickness and ease. I guess for now our best option out there until someone comes out with a better plan than that of Clear, is to fly enough miles that you can access the medallion lines or travel with someone that does have that elite status…..You could always jump the lines like the car that did in front of me today!