Biometrics are poised to play a larger role in airport security, with facial recognition to replace passports in Australia and the US and France looking into similar solutions. Delta is onboard with this kind of thinking, so to speak, and from today is allowing some passengers to board flights using nothing but their fingers.
The move is part of Delta's biometric boarding pass experience which it actually began testing back in May, alongside trials of facial recognition technology for baggage drops. That initial testing appears to have gone well, with the airline now rolling out fingerprint scanning at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
But it's not a matter of rolling up to the terminal with an outstretched finger. The airline has teamed up with biometrics company Clear for the venture, so users will need to first register with them before they can do away with their paper or mobile boarding pass. They will also need to be a member of Delta SkyMiles, the airline's loyalty program.
In the coming months, Delta will also start testing a service that allows members to check in their baggage using their fingerprint for identification.
"It's a win-win program," said Gil West, Delta's Senior Executive Vice President & COO. "Biometric verification has a higher level of accuracy than paper boarding passes and gives agents more time to assist customers with seat changes and other skilled tasks instead of having to scan individual tickets – and customers have less to keep track of as they travel through the airport."