This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Tired of fumbling with your phone at the airport security checkpoint? Forgot your ID at home? Well, in the not-so-distant future, you’ll be able to clear security with just your fingerprints.

Starting this week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be installing fingerprint readers to test a new concept: biometric identification and boarding passes.

The long-term idea is to “automate the travel document checking process by eliminating the need for a boarding pass and identity document,” similar to what JetBlue’s testing in partnership with US Customs and Border Protection. For passengers who are registered in the system, you’d no longer have to wait in line for a TSA agent to check your ID and boarding pass. Instead, you’d simply scan your fingerprints and the system would automatically check to verify that you have a flight from that airport that day.

According to the TSA’s press release, initial testing of this system will begin this week in both Atlanta (ATL) and Denver (DEN). TSA PreCheck members will be able to opt-in to scanning their fingerprints at these new machines:

Image courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration.
Image courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration.

However, instead of speeding up the process, passengers who opt-in during the testing period will actually have to take more time than before. Passengers will still “be subject to the standard ticket document checking process of showing their boarding pass and identification document.”

And, the new machines will only work if you’ve logged your fingerprints with the TSA as part of registering for a Trusted Traveler program such as Global Entry. If you’ve got TSA PreCheck but haven’t registered your fingerprints, the TSA still wants you to participate “since it provides valuable information to TSA during the proof of concept.” In seems that the agency needs to make sure that the system actually rejects passengers who don’t have a matching fingerprint.

Personally, I look forward to the eventual full rollout of this system. On a domestic trip in 2014, my wallet was stolen the day we were scheduled to fly home. It turns out that the TSA has a process for dealing with passengers without an ID, but it’s a lengthy and invasive one. It took my wife’s pleading with a JetBlue gate agent to keep me from missing our flight — which was the last flight of the night. With a fingerprint-based verification system, I’d have no trouble getting through without my identification.

If you manage to try out the TSA’s new system, please share your experience in the comments below.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.