Delta testing fingerprint recognition boarding pass at Arlington, VA airport

Delta customers now can use fingerprints instead of their boarding pass to board any Delta aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Delta’s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May at the DCA Delta Sky Club is now integrated into the boarding process, enabling eligible Delta SkyMiles members who are enrolled in CLEAR to use their fingerprints as proof of identity to board their plane.

The final phase of Delta’s DCA biometric boarding pass test, which will take place later this summer, will allow members to also use their fingerprints to check a bag.

“The truly exciting piece of what Delta is doing, is how scalable this experience is in part due to our partnership with CLEAR,” said Gil West, Delta’s senior executive vice president and COO. “Once we complete testing, customers throughout our domestic network could start seeing this capability in a matter of months – not years. Delta really is delivering the future now.”

Delta is partnering with CLEAR to power the back end of its biometric boarding pass experience.

Participation in the DCA pilot, which will assess how well Delta and CLEAR’s systems work together, is optional for all Delta SkyMiles members.

“Customer and employee feedback has been extremely encouraging throughout our Delta Sky Club test and we expect that enthusiasm to continue with the boarding experience,” West said. “It’s a win-win program. 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.”

The DCA test results will be analyzed to determine the next strategic moves in improving the process and broader implementation.

During the pilot, Delta customers with a SkyMiles number and who are also enrolled in CLEAR are eligible for the biometric boarding pass experience.

CLEAR will capture and use both biometric and SkyMiles data to identify customers at bag drop, Delta Sky Club entry and boarding.

Delta said it plans to extend passenger biometrics as ID and boarding pass to Delta’s DCA ticket counter workstations for bag drops.

Just last month CBP deployed facial recognition-based biometric exit technology at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas for one daily flight from the United States to Tokyo.

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