Delta Air Lines is bringing facial recognition technology to domestic flights.
Last week, the airline announced that it is launching its digital ID technology for domestic flights out of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. Delta previously debuted the technology in 2018 for international flights.
The service — which is provided in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) — is only available for TSA PreCheck members who have a passport number, according to the announcement. It is also voluntary, so passengers can opt out of the service.
Passengers who choose to use the service won’t have to show their physical ID or boarding pass to get through security. Instead, they just have to look into a camera and their photograph will verify their identity, along with their other passport and TSA PreCheck information.
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According to the announcement, passengers’ images will be “encrypted, stripped of biographic information and sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) facial biometric matching service via a secure channel.”
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After the agency verifies the passenger’s identity, it responds with an indicator allowing the passenger to go through security, according to Delta.
The airline added it does not save or store any biometric data and it has no plans to do so.
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Delta plans to add digital ID capabilities to bag drop and boarding checkpoints at the Detroit airport early this year, the airline said.
That would make Detroit “the first airport to have a facial recognition option from curb to gate for TSA PreCheck customers traveling domestically,” Delta’s announcement said.
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“The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the importance of providing a touchless experience for our customers,” Bill Lentsch, Delta’s chief customer experience officer said in a statement. “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.”
When Delta first launched the facial recognition technology in 2018, it started with international flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
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