Delta rolls out facial recognition-enabled TSA checkpoint at Atlanta terminal

Hands-free, device-free from curb to gate

FILE - People sit under Delta sign at Salt Lake City International Airport on July 1, 2021, in Salt Lake City. Delta Air Lines won't force employees to get vaccinated, but it's going to make unvaccinated workers pay a $200 monthly charge. Delta said Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021 that it will also require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees starting next month, although the airline says it'll pick up the cost of that testing. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file) (Rick Bowmer, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Delta Airlines is rolling out a new way to get through TSA at their terminal in Atlanta -- and it has to do with your face.

Traveling through checkpoints will be quicker for Delta customers enrolled in TSA PreCheck starting next month with the expansion of new facial recognition capabilities, the airline said, as well as the opening of the first-ever Delta-TSA PreCheck express lobby and bag drop.

Customers with both the Fly Delta app and a TSA PreCheck membership will soon be able to visit a new dedicated bag drop lobby on the lower level of Atlanta’s Domestic South Terminal, pass through the security checkpoint, and board their plane at the gate using only their “digital identity” (made up of a customer’s SkyMiles Member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number). Customers are free to travel from curb to gate, completely hands- and device-free.

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“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, Delta’s Vice President of Brand Experience Design. “Delta has been a leader in testing and implementing facial recognition technology since 2018 as part of our vision for building airports that are effortless. The launch of Atlanta’s express lobby and bag drop is the latest step in our commitment to listening and innovating for our customers.”

A rollout at the Delta terminal at Detroit Metro Airport hasn’t been announced yet, but Delta said it’s working with airport partners to expand the technology in the near future.

Delta boarding. (Delta Airlines)

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.