Delta Air Lines has announced the opening of the first Delta-TSA PreCheck express lobby and bag drop at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport starting next month. The process expands the airline’s use of facial recognition capabilities to streamline the airport experience.
Customers use their ‘digital identity’ – made up of their SkyMiles Member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number – to check luggage, pass through security and board their flight, all without showing a government ID or paper boarding pass.
The hands-free, device-free process begins at the airline’s new dedicated lobby area, located next to the rideshare drop-off on the lower level of the Domestic South Terminal. Having checked in on the Fly Delta app, customers verify their identity via a facial scan, print and attach a bag tag from a self-serve kiosk, and place their bag on the conveyer.
Next at the nearby dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes, customers will once again use a quick facial scan to pass through the domestic checkpoint, eliminating the need to produce a government ID or boarding pass.
At the boarding gate, another facial scan will allow customers to board; again, no boarding pass is required. In Atlanta, T1-T8 gates will be the first to offer a facial recognition option for domestic boarding.
Customers with an active Delta SkyMiles membership, Known Traveler Number and passport details saved to their profile can opt in to the curb-to-gate digital identity experience when they check in for their flight using Fly Delta app.
The carrier says participation is voluntary Fliers who choose not to opt in can proceed through the airport as they normally would. Delta also emphasizes that it does not save or store any biometric data, “nor does it plan to.”
Byron Merritt, Delta’s vice president of brand experience design, says the new system gives customers “more time to enjoy travel by unlocking simplified, seamless and efficient experiences from end to end.”
Delta is the first and only carrier to test this experience with TSA and TSA PreCheck, according to Greg Forbes, managing director, airport experience at Delta. Forbes points to the airline’s rollout of biometric technology at ATL which dates back to 2018.
“This element of the customer journey is possible thanks to our strong partnerships with TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and airport leadership, which were built over years of testing and perfecting facial recognition options for international customers,” Forbes said.