As announced very recently, this major U.S. airline, with its headquarters and largest hub at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, has made getting through airport security as simple as scanning your face. Customers can use facial recognition to verify their identity as they check in at self-service kiosks, move through security and board their flight.
The facial recognition system is opt-in only, meaning that passengers aren't required to have their face scanned to verify their identity. To use it, customers click 'Look' on the screen at the kiosks located in the lobby or approach the camera at the ticket counter, when boarding or going through security. Passengers' face scans are matched to passport or visa photos that are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's database. After a green check mark appears, they are able to proceed.
According to Delta, the majority of travelers at the Atlanta airport are more than happy to take advantage of the new service. Of the 25,000 customers who travel through Hartsfield-Jackson's international terminal, only 2 percent have opted out of the technology, the airline said. The system has also helped reduce the long lines and traffic jams that have become customary at many airports.
'Based on initial data, the facial recognition option is saving an average of two seconds for each customer at boarding, or nine minutes when boarding a widebody aircraft,' Delta said.
Delta launched the system with the idea that passengers will no longer need to use their passport to get through checkpoints around the airport. However, customers will still need to keep their passport on hand for use in other airports without biometric security systems.
In a statement, Gil West, Delta's chief operating officer, said that they are "removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure" and they are "giving customers the option of moving through the airport with one less thing to worry about." He added that they were also empowering their employees with more time for meaningful interactions with customers.
While it is limited to the international terminal in Atlanta for now, Delta hopes to bring the technology to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in 2019.