United Airlines announced Aug. 6 that passengers can now scan their passports using the carrier’s mobile app when checking in for international flights. Android and iOS users can use the passport scanning function within 24 hours of a flight’s departure.
The carrier is the first in the U.S. to offer the passport scanning option on a mobile app. United Airlines said business travel passengers can scan their passport or verifying existing passport information using the check-in feature on the app.
A phone’s camera is used to take a photo of the passport and is similar to the check depositing feature that is now offered by many banks.
According to United Airlines, Jumio Inc. verifies the passport. Once that step is complete travelers are issued a boarding pass.
It’s important to keep in mind that those who need other documents including visas will still need to check in the airport before their flight.
“We are focused on building the most useful travel app in the industry for our customers,” Scott Wilson, United’s vice president of merchandising and e-commerce, said in a statement. “The new passport scanning feature saves valuable time and provides customers with more options to control their travel experience.”
In addition to the passport scanning feature on its mobile app, United will introduce a new website sometime in 2014. The website will provide users with a simplified and faster experience.
More than 13 million customers downloaded the United Airlines mobile app after it was released in 2013.