Delta Air Lines customers travelling through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will soon be able to use a new dedicated Delta-TSA PreCheck® express lobby and bag drop.
Starting next month, Delta SkyMiles members who use the Fly Delta app and have a TSA PreCheck membership will be able to drop off their bags, pass through the security checkpoint, and board their plane at the gate using only their digital identity. For this programme, passengers’ digital identity is made up of their SkyMiles Member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number.
“We want to give our customers more time to enjoy travel by unlocking simplified, seamless and efficient experiences from end to end,” said Byron Merritt, Delta’s Vice President of Brand Experience Design. “Delta has been a leader in testing and implementing facial recognition technology since 2018 as part of our vision for building airports that are effortless. The launch of Atlanta’s express lobby and bag drop is the latest step in our commitment to listening and innovating for our customers.”
With this launch, Delta is setting a new standard for the industry as the first airline to build a dedicated bag drop space for TSA PreCheck customers. The new facility at Atlanta Airport features fully automated self-serve bag drop machines.
After checking in on the Fly Delta app, customers can enter the dedicated lobby area, conveniently located next to the rideshare drop-off area on the lower level of Atlanta’s Domestic South Terminal. They’ll quickly verify their identity via a hands-free facial scan, print and attach a bag tag from a self-serve kiosk, and place their bag on the conveyer.
Meanwhile, in Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), eligible customers will be able to enjoy self-serve bag tagging and a dedicated Delta bag drop queue at the Delta check-in counter later this fall.
After the bag drop, eligible customers will once again use a quick facial scan to pass through the domestic checkpoint in dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes without the need to show a government ID or boarding pass.
In Atlanta, customers will also have the benefit of industry-leading, more efficient security scanners that allow travellers to keep electronics and approved liquids in carry-on bags. Moreover, gates T1 to T8 will be the first to offer a facial recognition option for domestic boarding. Gates A10 and A12 will offer the same digital identity-enabled boarding in Detroit.
“This element of the customer journey is possible thanks to our strong partnerships with TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and airport leadership, which were built over years of testing and perfecting facial recognition options for international customers,” said Greg Forbes, Delta’s Managing Director – Airport Experience, who will take part in a panel discussion as part of the FTE Biometrics & Digital Identity Summit, taking place at FTE Global 2021, 7-9 December, Las Vegas. “Delta is writing the playbook for the industry as the first and only carrier to test this experience with TSA and TSA PreCheck.”
“We are glad to support self-service technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact for passengers and TSA employees,” said Atlanta’s TSA Federal Security Director Robert Spinden. “This is one of many such pilots at domestic airports, and we look forward to continuing to test new initiatives with airline and interagency partners.”
Delta has also shared that it is working to expand the airline’s facial recognition-enabled offerings both in scale and scope so more customers can experience a hands-free journey in the future.