Passengers at the Delta terminal in Atlanta can use facial recognition technology “from curb to gate,” in what the airline is touting as the first biometric terminal.
Delta has been installing biometric features in Terminal F at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since announcing its plans earlier this fall. Passengers flying with Delta’s partner airlines — Aeromexico, Air France-KLM or Virgin Atlantic — will also have access to the facial recognition technology.
Delta customers flying direct to an international destination will be able to use facial recognition to check in at the self-service kiosks; drop checked baggage at the counters; serve as identification at the TSA checkpoint; board a flight at any gate in Terminal F; and go through Customs and Border Protection processing for international travelers arriving into the U.S.
“We’re removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure,” said Gil West, Delta’s COO. According to the carrier, the facial recognition option is saving an average of two seconds for each customer at boarding, or nine minutes when boarding a widebody aircraft, based on initial data.
Since coming online in October, Delta said nearly all 25,000 customers who travel through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta’s Terminal F each week have chosen this process, with less than 2 percent opting out.
Delta said customers enter their passport information during online check-in or at the airport, after they scan their passport to check in. Next, they select “Look” on the screen at the kiosk in the lobby, or approach the camera at the counter in the lobby, the TSA checkpoint or when boarding at the gate. Travelers' face scans are matched to passport or visa photos on file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Delta already has plans to bring the airport biometric terminal experience to the global airline’s hub in Detroit in 2019.