Meet MONA, VINCI Airports’ revolutionary end-to-end biometric assistant
VINCI Airports talks to International Airport Review about ‘MONA’, a revolutionary digital service and the first travel companion based on facial recognition, which was launched at France’s Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport in October 2020.
Credit: VINCI Airports
This brand-new system is a major step towards the mobility of tomorrow and makes VINCI Airports the first airport operator in the world to allow its passengers to experience a biometric journey through a mobile-controlled Digital Identity for free”
The promise of MONA is to significantly transform the traveller experience from home, to airplane, and back again. This brand-new system is a major step towards the mobility of tomorrow and makes VINCI Airports the first airport operator in the world to allow its passengers to experience a biometric journey through a mobile-controlled Digital Identity for free. Although other biometric solutions do exist throughout the world, these are rarely available at each step of a passenger’s journey. Furthermore, the possibility for travellers to create their biometric account directly from their smartphone is an unprecedented VINCI Airports innovation.
Thanks to facial recognition and a specific route within the airport, MONA subscribers cross various airport control points – border control currently remains the only exception – by simply showing their face. Being an entirely contactless service, MONA is even more useful in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A 30-minute time-saver for travellers
MONA was born after we, at VINCI Airports, observed that passengers often feel travelling by plane is a source of stress due to the many security controls and everlasting queues. We decided to respond to this issue through the creation of a new process utilising innovative technology that would allow for an easier, more fluid and relaxed travel experience.
The first travellers to experience MONA did so on 5 October 2020 at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS), one of VINCI Airports’ innovation centres. To benefit from this new service, travellers simply need to create their “Digital Identity” via their MONA App that connects their photograph, identity documents and boarding pass. This can be done from the comfort of home via a smartphone application. Passengers can also participate on a dedicated terminal at the airport.
Travellers simply need to create their “Digital Identity” via their MONA App that connects their photograph, identity documents and boarding pass”
In addition to the 30-minute time saving that MONA gives its users, it provides them with real-time flight and passenger route information, as well as personalised services and experiences, developed in partnership with airlines and airport businesses. The end-to-end travel assistance (upstream advice, reservation of services and geolocation in the airport) offered by the application is indeed an important factor in simplifying the journey and, therefore, in saving additional time. Thanks to MONA, customers gain in simplicity and ease.
The service was first made available at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport for Transavia (flights to Porto) and TAP Air Portugal (flights to Lisbon) passengers. VINCI Airports chose these Lyon-Portugal air links as the first to experiment MONA because of our operator role in each country. By implementing MONA for Lyon-Portugal travellers, we also want to support Portugal and France in the process of recovering their travel partnership in the future.