Delta has announced plans to launch the first biometric terminal in the United States, an optional experience offered to international travelers at Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal F in Atlanta, Georgia. Customers won’t be forced to use this technology if they’re uncomfortable with it, but rather will have it as an alternative option to reduce the amount of time spent waiting.
The new terminal is being launched in partnership with the aforementioned airport, the TSA, and US Customs and Border Protection, the airline has announced. The biometric option will arrive some time later this year, allowing international customers on Delta, Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Air France-KLM to scan their face as part of the travel process.
Assuming a customer is eligible and choose to use Delta Biometrics, they’ll utilize facial recognition as part of a new process to check in for their flight, check in bags, skip handing over ID at the TSA checkpoint, board their flight (assuming it is in Terminal F), and pass through CBP when returning to the United States.
The system has already been tested on Delta employees, revealing that using biometrics rather than traditional ID saves up to nine minutes of time per flight. Whether that is enough to convince customers otherwise hesitant about such technology is up for debate.
Delta Air Lines COO Gil West said:
Launching the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world’s busiest airport means we’re bringing the future of flying to customers traveling around the globe. Customers have an expectation that experiences along their journey are easy and happen seamlessly — that’s what we’re aiming for by launching this technology across airport touch points.