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 November 08, 2001
FreedomPass Provides Increased Security and Reduces Airport Congestion

 Aeritas Inc. has officially launched FreedomPass, a new wireless check-in and security solution for the travel industry that uses voiceprint verification along with a barcode-based boarding pass linked to a passenger's photo ID to enable secure, convenient wireless check-in. The fully automated system also significantly lowers airline passenger check-in costs.

Ideal for frequent business flyers, the new solution enables airlines to speed up the boarding process for customers most vital to their financial success while at the same time increasing security. By targeting this low-risk, highly identifiable set of passengers that could bypass check-in lines and pass more rapidly through security checkpoints, FreedomPass offers airlines a solution for enhancing security, reducing airport congestion and returning to profitability.

For heightened security, FreedomPass incorporates advanced passenger-identification technology. First, a voiceprint match verifies a passenger's identity, even before the traveler reaches the airport. After voiceprint verification, a barcode-based boarding pass, along with flight information, is displayed directly on the passenger's mobile phone or personal digital assistant (PDA). The barcode is scanned at the gate while boarding and presents the passenger's stored photo ID, which is displayed using existing gate equipment, providing a second measure for verifying a passenger's identity. For additional security, the system can easily be linked to government databases for watch-list criminal checks such as the FAA computer assisted pre-screening passenger system (CAPPS). It also can easy be integrated with other biometric identification technologies being evaluated.

"Concerns about security, coupled with long lines at the airport, are having a dampening effect not only on frequent flyers but also on the overall financial viability of the airline industry," said Tim Whatley, Aeritas chief executive officer. "Because it works with existing infrastructure, FreedomPass requires a very minimal investment on the part of airlines and can be up and running within a 30-60 day window. This highly secure wireless check-in solution can reduce escalating check-in costs to under $1.00 per passenger."

"Airlines are under tremendous pressure to restore customer confidence as it relates to security and to improve the overall travel experience," said Jim Poage, an investment consultant and former head of Worldwide Marketing at Sabre. "By providing a secure way to bypass the lines and go straight to the boarding gate, FreedomPass would offer immediate value to the airlines' best customers - the frequent business traveler. Reducing the airlines check-in costs provides a double win benefit."

In addition to providing secure wireless check-in, FreedomPass enables airlines to offer travelers a variety of customer-centric services via their mobile phone or PDA, including flight delay information, re-accommodation to change seating or re-booking on an alternative flight. With the Aeritas AerWallet(R), travelers can use their wireless device to conduct secure, real-time payment transactions in response to special offerings, upgrades or partner promotions.

FreedomPass testing is currently underway with airlines and partners in the U.S. and Europe and will soon be available for widespread release. Using the same proprietary technology, the Aeritas Mobile Platform also supports applications for the hospitality, sports, entertainment, retail and other industries.