Biometric airport?

Old Aug 23, 19, 2:57 pm
  #1  
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Biometric airport?

I'll be flying LHR-SLC-SEA on Delta soon. Will be my first time in the SLC airport. Part of a Delta email talks about how SLC is a biometric airport and how that will improve my experience at SLC. I've never experienced that and was curious how it works.
1) What I read online implies it is only for international flights departing from the biometric airport, not arriving. Is that true?
2) Assuming it does apply, how would my experience be different than the usual experience connecting from between the LHR-SLC to SLC-SEA flights?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 23, 19, 3:03 pm
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So far I've experienced this only on DL operated international departures.

The way it seems to work is that when you check in at the airport (or do the travel documents verification after doing OLCI if you're not checking bags), a DL agent scans your passport. Your picture is digitally stored and than when you go to board, you look into a camera and facial recognition approves you. One time the machine spit out a little seat assignment ticket, but it was for the same seat I had reserved in advance and which appeared on my boarding pass. IME the process seemed to be slightly slower than the old boarding pass plus passport photo ID way, but a slight advantage is that you don't need to keep passport and boarding pass in hand as you board.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 3:32 pm
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I've had 2 flights with Biometric and can't say that it speeds the boarding process.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
So far I've experienced this only on DL operated international departures.

The way it seems to work is that when you check in at the airport (or do the travel documents verification after doing OLCI if you're not checking bags), a DL agent scans your passport. Your picture is digitally stored and than when you go to board, you look into a camera and facial recognition approves you. One time the machine spit out a little seat assignment ticket, but it was for the same seat I had reserved in advance and which appeared on my boarding pass. IME the process seemed to be slightly slower than the old boarding pass plus passport photo ID way, but a slight advantage is that you don't need to keep passport and boarding pass in hand as you board.
Delta is not scanning your passport for the picture - it is just scanning it for the number. The facial recognition is done by CBP, not Delta. CBP already has your passport photo, as well as photos of you from your drivers license (for states which participate in RealID, which is the majority of them) as well as any photos they have taken of you via the automated passport control kiosks (or at the CBP kiosks themselves), and at prior international departures using biometrics.

There is no value to biometrics. It doesn't speed boarding, and even if it did, the gate is not what slows down boarding - it is the aisle. Delta is just willingly going along with the DHS bullying airlines into implementing biometric exit on their behalf (which is meant to apply to non-US citizens, not US citizens) and then putting marketing around it to make people think it's cool and rather than creepy and discriminatory.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 4:05 pm
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Most people are commenting about international departures. How would biometrics impact my international arrival / domestic departure? Presumably the first time Delta sees me at SLC is after I've passed through immigration and customs when I'm dropping my suitcase back with them. But at that point, I'm already landside, so in theory I no longer even need my passport to fly to Seattle.

Is the biometrics meant to speed time boarding, or through TSA, or both?
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Old Aug 23, 19, 10:04 pm
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I agree that the biometrics don't really speed up anything. And I'm not sure what it is like for a I-D connection at SLC.

But as a data point, here's what happened last time I departed from ATL on an Intl flight:
- OLCI night before
- Dropped curbside
- At TSA, looked at a camera; ID and flight info confirmed, passport and BP stayed in my pocket
- SkyClub - checked in with eBP, but I had to do a doc check so SC agent scanned my passport. Also got a paper BP on request because I just like paper for intl flights
- At gate, looked at camera similar to TSA. Slip printed with same seat assignment as I'd had all along. No addl doc check.

Seems like a lot of technology for no real purpose or benefit (to the passenger) other than looking cool.

At the end of the day I still need my actual passport to travel, and I still end up with a piece of paper (or two) with my flight info and seat assignment.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 1:20 am
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I feel like phrases like "improve your experience" just tries to make us think they are doing that, when really it's like gooselee says, just stuff that looks cool. Global Entry improves my experience, and so does Pre-Check. That about covers it!
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Old Aug 24, 19, 8:46 am
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The biometric boarding is supposedly optional, but when I've experienced it, GAs clearly wanted everyone to use it.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 8:54 am
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There are biometric machines and signs at a number of SLC gates but they are usually off to the side not being used (other than as door stops.) I flew on an international flight out of SLC the other day and they weren't used. I don't think the machines are designed to be used for arrivals anyways.
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