After rolling out a curb-to-gate biometric experience for international flights at its hub in Atlanta (ATL) last year, Delta says it's expanding facial recognition for passengers boarding international flights out of Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Salt Lake City (SLC).
While travelers at these smaller Delta hubs won't be able to check in or pass through security with just their face, they can skip the passport and boarding pass when boarding international flights. Delta announced Wednesday it will work with Customs and Border Protection to install the new technology at 49 gates at the two airports plus Atlanta's Concourse E over the next month.
Biometrics are the next frontier for airlines and airports as they try to ease and speed up the process of air travel. And Delta isn't alone: American Airlines has tried out biometric boarding at Los Angeles (LAX), while JetBlue has offered facial recognition boarding at many of its hubs. Delta has also started to roll out biometrics at its hub in Detroit (DTW).
After several months of the full biometric treatment at ATL's international Terminal F, Delta clearly considers it a success. The airline's data shows 72% of passengers prefer biometric boarding, which can save up to 9 minutes when boarding the massive planes heading overseas.
“The expansion of facial recognition at boarding enables more customers to take advantage of this seamless, time-saving process – an important step as we implement facial recognition in our hubs across the country and define the experience for the industry,” Delta chief operating officer Gil West said in a statement.
Not a fan of Delta having your face on file? No worries – you can always skip it and opt for the traditional boarding process. And keep in mind that it's currently only available for international flights on Delta and partner airlines – not domestic trips.
Delta is going for broke with facial recognition. Look for it on your next international flight out of MSP or SLC.