Delta Brings Optional Biometric Boarding to Two Additional Airports

Jun 21, 2019

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Minneapolis and Salt Lake City will soon offer optional boarding by facial recognition on nonstop international flights flown with Delta and its partners. Atlanta’s Terminal E will be equipped with scanners to facilitate even more ticketless boarding in Delta’s hometown.

Delta confirmed with TPG that Atlanta’s Terminal E, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City will all be live at various points in July. It won’t be a hard switch; rather, Delta will install facial recognition equipment at one gate, and once tested and proven, more gates will be brought online until each gate is equipped.

delta optional biometric boarding
A passenger boards a Delta flight from Atlanta to Mexico City using optional biometric boarding (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

I tested the service from end to end in Atlanta’s Terminal F, and you can read more on my experience here.

Delta worked with US Customs and Border Protection, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration to bring optional biometric boarding to international flights in Atlanta’s Terminal F in December of 2018. Now that the airline has had a few months to test and learn, the system is spreading to new locales.

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The launch of biometric boarding is a first-of-its-kind experience for MSP and SLC. If you’re traveling out of either airport (as well as Terminals E and F in Atlanta), you’ll need to be ticketed on a nonstop international flight to take advantage. Delta flights are supported, as are those on SkyTeam partners Aeromexico, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic.

delta biometric boarding
Gates equipped with biometric boarding will use these cameras to verify a passenger’s identity (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Since launching in Atlanta’s Terminal F, Delta has commissioned third-party customer insight research to gather feedback from those experiencing the process for the first time. According to Delta, that research found that 72% prefer facial recognition to standard boarding. Moreover, just 2% of customers opted out of the process, though Delta makes clear that anyone uncomfortable with the notion of having their face scanned to board can use a traditional ticket instead.


Featured image by the author. 

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