Delta adds biometric ID to JFK, LAX and LGA

Delta is expanding its use of biometrics to three more major U.S. airports.

Passengers departing JFK, LAX and LGA can now use Delta’s Digit ID facial recognition at bag drop and security for domestic flights.

It means passengers can check bags, go through security and board the aircraft using their face as ID instead of a physical ID and boarding pass.

Delta introduced the system in 2021 at Detroit and Atlanta and plans to expand to more hubs in 2024, starting with the international terminal in Atlanta (ATL-F) in January.

How it works

To use the biometric 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.

Eligible passengers will receive a notification in their Fly Delta app when flying from a Digital ID-enabled airport:

  • Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

At bag drop and security entrance, passengers go to a special line, marked with a green “Delta Digital ID” icon. A camera takes their picture and the system checks the live image with the data in the Digital ID. No need for a physical ID.

But passengers have to always carry the physical ID with them. If the system doesn’t recognise the passenger, an agent will do a manual check of the passenger’s ID.

Delta Digital ID line at an airport

Who can use it?

This system is available to passengers who have all of these: 

  • Have a TSA PreCheck® membership 
  • Have passport information and a Known Traveler Number stored in their Delta profile  
  • Have a (free) SkyMiles membership 
  • Have the Fly Delta app 

More on: Delta and biometrics

Delta to use facial recognition for domestic passengers

Delta adds facial recognition at Atlanta for domestic departures

Delta expands use of facial recognition for boarding


At the moment, the system is optional and passengers choose to opt in. They can also opt-out at any time.

Delta says it does not save or store any biometric data. 

Does it save passengers any time?

Delta says the Digital ID transactions at bag drop take an average time of 30 seconds – about 90 seconds faster than scanning their physical ID. It’s not clear exactly what that 30 seconds includes – printing the tag? tagging the bag?

Time savings at security lines vary according to airport volume.

Delta also says that since its implementation at ATL and DTW, Delta Digital ID has proven to be highly popular, with a large majority of eligible passengers opting into the technology.

Internet links

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Delta Digital ID