Delta Airlines To Introduce Nation’s First ‘Biometric Terminal’

By Rachel George


Ever wanted to skip long lines at the airport, bypassing security and baggage check? Well, Delta Airlines in Atlanta has just the thing for you.


In December, the airline will enable the first fully biometric terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Using facial recognition scanners, passengers leaving with from Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal (Terminal F) will have a much shorter experience in the airport.


Travelers will verify their passport and take a photo using the scanner, comparing the two pictures along with their passport. This technology means passengers will be able to bypass TSA, check in at self-service kiosks and drop off their checked bags. Passengers will also be able to board their flight at any gate. Incoming international travelers will be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


“Through experience, observation and listening to feedback from our customers and employees, we’ll not only hone the technology further but will identify the best places to use this technology in Atlanta and beyond,” Delta spokeswoman Kathryn Steele told Travel Weekly.


Delta has worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection over the past few years testing the facial recognition process in 13 other airports in major cities like Detroit and New York (JFK). This past summer, CBP demonstrated the technology at the Orlando International Airport, to help alleviate their overcrowded TSA lines.

Allegedly, the Department of Homeland Security could potentially slow down universal deployment. Privacy advocates are concerned about the protection of their information and possible misuse of information by the government.


Those interested in starting the process can do so by handing over their passport number in the Fly Delta app when checking in.  The program in Atlanta will be optional for the time being.


The facial recognition technology will also be able for travelers passing through Terminal F for flights with Virgin Atlantic Airways, Aeromexico, and Air France-KLM. Automated biometric systems are predicted to be worth $1.3 billion in revenue over the next five years.

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