Delta trials biometric boarding at Washington National

Delta trials fingerprint biometric boarding at Washington National

Delta passengers at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) now can use fingerprints instead of their boarding pass to board any Delta aircraft.

Members of its Delta SkyMiles loyalty program who are also enrolled in CLEAR, a third-party biometric screening program, can choose to use their fingerprints instead of a boarding pass as proof of identity to board their plane.

Passengers joining the trial will be able to journey through DCA as they do today and simply use their fingerprint instead of a paper or mobile boarding pass.

It means that eligible Members can now use their fingerprints to enter Delta Sky Club and board the aircraft at DCA.

Later this summer, Delta plans to extend passenger biometrics as ID and boarding pass to DCA ticket counter work stations for bag drops.

CLEAR will capture and use both biometric and SkyMiles information to identify passengers at bag drop, Delta Sky Club entry and boarding.

Findings from the DCA test will be analyzed to determine next steps for improving the process and broader implementation.

Delta first introduced the biometric boarding pass at its DCA Delta Sky Club in May this year. The airline says that passenger and employee feedback has been extremely encouraging throughout that test.

Gil West, Delta’s Senior Executive Vice President & COO:

“The truly exciting piece of what Delta is doing, is how scalable this experience is in part due to our partnership with CLEAR. Once we complete testing, customers throughout our domestic network could start seeing this capability in a matter of months – not years. Delta really is delivering the future now.

“It’s a win-win program. Biometric verification has a higher level of accuracy than paper boarding passes and gives agents more time to assist customers with seat changes and other skilled tasks instead of having to scan individual tickets – and customers have less to keep track of as they travel through the airport.”

Biometric trials at U.S. airports

Delta’s boarding trial at DCA is the latest biometric project at a U.S. airport. Others include:

In 2014, Alaska Airlines began using fingerprint scans to verify customers at six of its airport lounges.

N.B. Image credit: Delta

Internet links

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