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Delta Delivers on Biometric TSA PreCheck Bag Drop Lobby

Delta Air Lines flyers traveling through Atlanta will have a faster way to get through the airport, thanks to the new TSA PreCheck Express Lobby.
Flying Delta Air Lines through their headquarters at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) may be a little easier – and faster – thanks to a new joint technology approach between the airline and the Transportation Security Administration.


The airline announced the launch of their first Delta-TSA PreCheck express lobby and bag drop, available to technology-enabled flyers passing through the terminal.

Biometric Bag Drop Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Verify Flyers

The new check-in area will be available to Delta SkyMiles members who are also part of TSA PreCheck. The carrier claims those who have a “digital identity” with Delta will be able to travel “from curb to gate” without pulling out their government-issued IDs or boarding passes.


“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, vice president of brand experience design at Delta. “The launch of Atlanta’s express lobby and bag drop is the latest step in our commitment to listening and innovating for our customers.”


The experience starts when passengers arrive at ATL. After checking in prior to arrival using the Fly Delta smartphone app, they can visit the autonomous downstairs lobby. At one of the kiosks, flyers will be directed to perform a hands-free facial scan to confirm their “digital identity.” Identifying information used by the carrier includes the flyer’s SkyMiles number, passport number and Known Traveler Number.


When the flyer’s identity is confirmed, they will be allowed to check their luggage. A tag will be printed at the kiosk, and flyers will be able to place it on a conveyor for loading once the tag is attached. From there, they will go to a special TSA line, where their face will be scanned once again. TSA agents will not need to scan the flyer’s ID.


At boarding, these flyers will once again be able to board using a facial scan. If all three are successful, a flyer will be able to go from the check-in desk to their seat using only the biometric recognition technology.


While Atlanta will be the first airport to get the full biometric experience, the airline is rolling out the facial scan boarding technology to two airports. Atlanta gates T1 through T8 and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) gates A10 and A12 will be among the first to get facial recognition equipment at the gate.

Delta Follows Spirit in Biometric Bag Drop

While Delta is the first to offer a full-service facial recognition option for flyers, they trail Spirit Airlines in offering a biometric bag drop experience. In September 2020, the Miramar-based airline rolled out biometric bag drops in New York and Chicago.


Feature image courtesy: Delta Air Lines

dhturk October 28, 2021

Prior to Covid, I remember Delta used facial scans at a select few boarding gates.