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The Future is Now: Delta Rolls Out Facial Recognition in Atlanta Terminal

Delta Facial Recognition

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Bye bye, boarding pass. Hello, cameras. 

As promised earlier this fall, Delta is rolling out biometric scanning at the international Terminal F at its Atlanta (ATL) hub. Delta’s international passengers leaving or arriving at ATL can use the airline’s facial recognition technology to check in for a flight, check a bag, pass through TSA security, board a flight, or go through Customs and Border Protection when arriving back on U.S. soil.

The program is new – these different biometric checkpoints started going live in October.  But the airline says it’s a success thus far, with less than 2 percent of eligible passengers opting out of biometric screening. Passengers on Delta international flights are eligible, as well as Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Aeromexico.

And it won’t stop at ATL. Delta announced Thursday it would expand a pilot project at its Detroit (DTW) hub for the same curb-to-gate biometric treatment. That work should finish sometime in  2019.

“We’re removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure – which means we’re giving customers the option of moving through the airport with one less thing to worry about, while empowering our employees with more time for meaningful interactions with customers,” Delta chief operating officer Gil West said in a statement.

 

How It Works

Customers flying direct internationally from ATL’s Terminal F who want to use this new feature simply enter their passport information when prompted during online check-in. After that, it’s as simple as clicking “Look” on the screen at an automated check-in kiosk or approach a camera at the counter, the TSA checkpoint, or when boarding at the gate.

 

 

From then on, travelers can head through each biometric touchpoint once a green check mark flashes.

Not thrilled about Delta taking your photo or scanning your face? No problem! Just proceed through the airport as you always do.

 

Bottom Line

ATL is first, DTW is next. But we’re fairly certain they won’t be the last Delta hubs to get the biometric treatment.

 

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Lead Photo (CC BY 2.0):  Delta News Hub via Flickr

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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