American Airlines' international passengers can now scan their passport within the carrier's mobile app and then head directly to their departure gate.

American says it is first airline to offer such a service. 

"Mobile passport-scanning removes a time-consuming step, providing our customers with a smoother check-in experience for international flights," said Maya Leibman, American's chief information officer. 

Customers using the feature can skip the visual passport check at the airport check-in counter.

AA app users are prompted to enter their passport information and then scan the passport with an iOS or Android device. The app will then securely transmit the information embedded in the passport's electronic chip. 

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