Auto-checking and facial recognition at Tokyo airports in 2020

Japan Airlines has announced a plan to introduce smart check-in self-service machines, as well as others with facial recognition technology at Tokyo’s Narita airport starting next year.

With this new concept, JAL aims to «offer a quiet and uncomplicated airport experience and provide multiple options to meet the needs of each client and support tables where necessary.»

Beginning October 28, JAL passengers will be able to check their luggage through the self-service luggage system at the counter OR in Terminal 2 of Narita airport. Travelers will be invited to register at the airport kiosk and print their individual luggage tags. Once completed, the traveler can simply leave their luggage and head towards the boarding gate.

There will be seven machines available for use. This will allow travelers to leave their bags directly after finishing check-in at the airport’s automatic kiosks. The airline ensures that seven other machines will be available for use in April 2020.

Narita Airport announced its plan to implement intelligent check-in services throughout the airport in August, with a total of 72 self-service machines in all terminals before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Passengers traveling with Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Qantas, Emirates and Finnair may also use these machines.


Also in the spring of 2020, JAL will implement facial recognition technology services at Narita airport. During the initial registration process, travelers will have their facial data collected.

Then they can go through security and board the plane without the need to present their travel document. This is known as the ‘One ID’ process. The airport plans to present this project in the spring of next year.

According to the airport, JAL will be the first participating airline in Terminal 2, while another Japanese airline ANA will also be the first participating airline in the southern wing of Terminal 1.