Delta adds facial recognition at Atlanta for domestic departures

Available at bag drop, security and boarding

Delta is expanding its use of biometrics at its Atlanta base to include domestic departures.

Passengers departing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will soon be able to use facial recognition at bag drop, security and boarding for domestic flights.

It means passengers can travel from curb to gate using their face as ID instead of a physical ID and boarding pass.

To use the facial recognition system, passengers create a digital ID on the Delta app. This is made up of their SkyMiles Member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number.

At each airport touch point – bag drop, security entrance and boarding gate – the digital ID is checked to verify the live passenger is really the one in the ID. All the passenger has to do is look at the camera at each point.

If a passenger does not want to use the facial recognition route they can choose not to opt in and proceed through the airport as preferred. Delta says it does not save or store any biometric data, nor does it plan to.

Delta first introduced the digital ID system for passengers on U.S. domestic flights out of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) in February 2021.

The airline first introduced facial recognition for international departures from Atlanta’s F concourse in 2018.

How it works

  • If they want to, passengers opt in when checking in on the Delta app and create their digital ID on the app
  • At bag drop, passengers verify their ID via the camera, print and attach any bag tags and drop the bag(s) on the belt
  • At security, passengers verify their ID via the camera – no need to scan a boarding pass
  • At boarding, passengers verify their ID via the camera – no need for a physical ID or boarding pass

Dedicated area for TSA PreCheck

Passengers with both the Fly Delta app and a TSA PreCheck membership will be able to use a new dedicated bag drop lobby on the lower level of Atlanta’s Domestic South Terminal.

The new facility features fully automated self-service bag drop machines.

The Delta-TSA PreCheck® express lobby and bag drop space will open next month ahead of the holiday travel season.

Delta and biometrics

Over the past few years, Delta and CBP have tested facial recognition boarding at ATL, DTW and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Delta tested a self-service biometric bag drop at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport for international passengers.

Delta has also tested biometric boarding at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and has launched optional biometric check-in for all domestic Delta Sky Clubs.


N.B. Image credit: Delta Air Lines

Internet links

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