There’s going to be a new game in town when it comes to checking in for flights to the EU.
In mid-2025, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) comes into force and will be mandatory for all visitors from visa-exempt countries.
But introducing a new identity verification step during ticket purchase, check-in, or boarding can be challenging for airlines. So what’s the most efficient way to meet the requirement?
The quick answer: automated passport and ID scanning technology on any smart device. It is both the most flexible and simplest solution to integrate. Read on and we’ll show you why.
Why leading airlines trust us
Scandit has over 10 years of experience developing smart data capture technology for the aviation sector. We work with some of the world’s top airlines, like SAS and Lufthansa.
We’ll cover why devices (both smartphones and laptops) upgraded with smart data capture technology will do the job for customers and employees. It will cover how to:
- Retrieve all relevant API from passports with a single scan
- Comply with ETIAS requirements without decreasing passenger experience
- How ID scanning on employee devices can help your staff to efficiently deal with ETIAS
What ETIAS is and when it will happen
ETIAS is a requirement for travelers from visa-exempt countries visiting any EU state. Here is what else you need to know:
To apply for an ETIAS visa, the applicant must enter their Advance Passenger Information (API) during check-in, either at the airport or self-check-in.
- Passport Number: The number on your passport.
- Issuance and Expiry Date: Dates when your passport was issued and when it will expire.
- Issuing Country: The country that issued the passport.
- Date and Place of Birth: City and country of your birth.
How ETIAS works behind the scenes
ETIAS Central System verifies the applicant’s API information against various security databases, including Interpol, Europol, and the Schengen Information System (SIS).
The API is stored in the airlines’ control systems and passed onto the relevant border control.
ETIAS is linked to passports
Once approved, the ETIAS travel authorization is linked to the applicant’s passport. It remains valid for three years or until the passport expires – whatever is earlier.
Holders can enter EU states multiple times for short stays. Typically, these are up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
‘Not more forms to fill in!?’ A challenge for airlines
ETIAS has increased demand for accurate and efficient data collection from passengers, inevitably leading to additional forms and processes.
It both burdens travelers and presents airlines with the task of seamlessly integrating it without compromising experience or data security.
How to make it easier for passengers to enter data?
We’ve all been there. You’re rushing to fill in a form; but every time you hit submit, it gets returned. Either a digit is missing, or a mandatory field is empty.
Form filling is tedious. Especially when manually copying non-sequential data from detail-heavy documents. And where all inputs must be in the right format and place.
Fortunately, Scandit’s ID Scanning technology makes it simple for the customer to capture some of the trickiest details from a single scan.
Passport scanning - what details are parsed, and how secure is it?
Here we can only speak for our own ID Scanning products. As shown above, the passport data required includes the numbers, issue date, and country of issue.
We understand that passports are critical documents for crimes like identity theft. Customers are naturally concerned about passing scans of them over the internet.
So are we.
That’s why, with our technology, all passport data is captured and processed on the device. Unless the verification method requires an internet connection.
What is the risk to airlines?
It is essential for airlines to provide the correct API information to a country’s border control. There is a risk of fines for airlines if they fail to do so.
Penalties can vary depending on the country’s specific regulations and the degree of non-compliance by the airline.
Are there other ways to help passengers through this process?
Yes, there are.
Imagine a situation where a passenger arrives at check-in. There’s a long line, and they have failed to apply for an ETIAS. The flight leaves in 30-minutes.
Adding Scandit to a mobile agent’s smart device can support handling passenger check-ins. They can also use the device for a “two-in-one” check during boarding to ensure the ticket owner matches the passport holder. If API data for ETIAS is incomplete, it can be quickly submitted.
Why Scandit Smart Data Capture fits the requirement
Passport scanning with smart devices is the easiest way to help passengers enter API data while reducing the chance of a fine. But building this from scratch is the opposite.
That is why Scandit has developed a plug-and-play solution that airlines can easily integrate into their own applications. As a result, it will be able to read and parse most of the document, including the Machine Readable Zones.
The benefits for airlines and passengers
Document checks can sometimes be a daunting experience for both airlines and passengers. But ETIAS can be simplified if you have the right data capture technology (like Scandit) in place.
Efficient Operations: Automated passport and ID scanning technology can streamline the check-in and boarding processes.
Risk Mitigation: By ensuring accurate data collection from passengers, airlines significantly reduce the risk of fines and penalties associated with incorrect or incomplete Advance Passenger Information (API).
Customer Service: Employees equipped with smart devices with ID Scanning can help passengers with check-in, boarding, and entering API data.
Tech Integration: Scandit’s ID Scanning technology is simple to integrate into your existing applications – whether native, web or any other platform like React Native.
Hassle-Free Check-in: Passengers can avoid the tedious task of manual data entry with smart data capture. Resulting in fewer errors and a faster check-in process.
Fast ETIAS Application: The technology facilitates a swift ETIAS application process, as passengers can easily scan their passports to enter the necessary API data.
Secure Data Handling: Passengers can know their sensitive information is handled with utmost security, as data capture and parsing are conducted directly on their device.
So what comes next?
ETIAS takes effect in mid-2025. So now is the time to consider incorporating smart data capture technology to help meet its requirements.
Completing the ETIAS API requirement, with Scandit’s ID Scanning technology, is largely the simple act of scanning a passport.
Interested in finding out more? Check out this page, or better still, get in touch. We’ll show you how easy it will be for your teams to integrate Scandit’s ID Scanning technology with your operations.