Delta has opened a TSA PreCheck express lobby and bag drop and expanded its facial recognition capabilities at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia.
Starting next month, customers with both the Fly Delta app and a TSA PreCheck membership will be able to travel through the airport completely hands- and device-free. In Atlanta, gates T1-T8 will be the first to offer a facial recognition option for domestic boarding. Another similar system will open at gates A10 and A12 in Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, although it will not be operational until later this autumn. At these airports, passengers will pass through the security checkpoint and board their plane at the gate using only their digital identity. This will be made up of a customer’s SkyMiles membership number, passport number and known traveler number. These updates are intended to reduce queuing in the main airport lobby by streamlining the steps required for bag check and reducing customer wait time by an average of two minutes.
To do this, passengers first need to check in on the Fly Delta app. Once at the airport, passengers will visit the new bag-drop lobby on the lower level of Atlanta’s Domestic South Terminal. This bag-drop space for TSA PreCheck customers features fully automated self-serve bag-drop machines, where passengers will verify their identity via a hands-free facial scan. Following this, passengers will print and attach a bag tag from a self-serve kiosk and place their bag on the conveyer. At security, eligible customers will once again use a facial scan to pass through the domestic checkpoint in TSA PreCheck lanes, without needing to show a government ID or boarding pass. In Atlanta, customers will be able to keep electronics and approved liquids in carry-on bags because the airport has more efficient security scanners than those planned for Detroit. Finally, customers use another facial scan to get a boarding pass.
Robert Spinden, federal security director at Hartsfield-Jackson, said, “We are glad to support self-service technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact for passengers and TSA employees. This is one of many such pilots at domestic airports, and we look forward to continuing to test new initiatives with airline and interagency partners.”
Byron Merritt, vice president of brand experience design at Delta, said, “We want to give our customers more time to enjoy travel by unlocking simplified, seamless and efficient experiences from end to end. The launch of Atlanta’s express lobby and bag drop is the latest step in our commitment to listening and innovating for our customers.”
Greg Forbes, Delta’s managing director of airport experience, said, “This element of the customer journey is possible thanks to our strong partnerships with TSA, US Customs and Border Protection and airport leadership, which were built over years of testing and perfecting facial recognition options for international customers.”
Delta has released the following infographics to explain how the updates will change transit through three airport touchpoints in Atlanta.