Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines rolled out new fingerprint biometric check-in devices at all 50 of its US Delta Sky Club locations last week; it is available free for Delta Sky Club members who are US citizens or permanent residents, and who have registered with Delta’s biometrics program.

Delta partnered with US biometrics developer Clear in 2016 to offer Clear’s recognition service to the airline’s diamond medallion members free of charge and to Sky Miles members at discount pricing. 

“From unlocking our phones to entering the workplace, more and more people have the option to use biometrics as a form of identity for daily activities,” Delta COO Gil West said. “Having that option is quickly becoming an expectation.”

The new devices provide biometric recognition from a two-fingerprint reader, redesigned and custom-built around an encrypted fingerprint scanner. Delta describes the “sleeker” device as having “ergonomic finger supports and [an] angled fingerprint scanner to optimize [a customer’s] hand angle and promote successful scans” as well as “intuitive sound and lighting … so the processing signals are easier to understand.”

Delta said launching Delta biometrics across a single touch point “is a natural extension” of the biometric test programs Delta has operated recently, including Sky Club check-in and boarding at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Sky Club check-in at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and a biometric bag drop at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

“We will continue to gauge employee and customer feedback to refine the [program] and evaluate additional touch points where biometrics can make travel seamless,” West said.

Delta began testing biometric facial recognition technology at ATL gates E10 and E12 in December 2017 for volunteer passengers boarding its international flights to Paris. The airline has also been involved in extensive testing of biometric exit system technology, in coordination with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Mark Nensel, mark.nensel@informa.com