Delta to Introduce First Facial Recognition Option for Domestic Travelers

Delta Air Lines is partnering with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to launch the first facial recognition option for domestic travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport beginning next month.

The touchless experience will work using a digital ID made up of a customer's passport number and TSA PreCheck membership. Travelers will need both to participate but aren't required to opt-in.

To participate, travelers can store their passport information and TSA PreCheck Known Traveler Number in their SkyMiles profile in the Fly Delta app, which they'll use to opt into the program at check-in. At the airport, travelers can simply look into the camera at bag drop, the security checkpoint and the boarding gate to use their digital identity in place of a physical ID and boarding pass.

The camera captures an image which is then encrypted, stripped of biographic information and sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) facial biometric matching service where it's verified.

The new option will roll out at the Edward H. McNamara Terminal's dedicated TSA PreCheck domestic checkpoint before expanding to bag drop and boarding in early 2021.

"When it comes to pulling forward the future of Delta’s customer experience, we think big, start small and scale fast, letting innovation lead the way as we continuously listen to customer feedback," said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, in a statement. "The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the importance of providing a touchless experience for our customers. We plan to expand curb-to-gate facial recognition and digital ID beyond the Detroit test so that all of our customers can enjoy a seamless, touchless travel experience across our network."

Delta to Introduce First Facial Recognition Option for Domestic Travelers

Hongxia Sun