Delta to Introduce Biometrics for Boarding and Lounge Access Delta to Introduce Biometrics for Boarding and Lounge Access

Delta to Introduce Biometrics for Boarding and Lounge Access

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Delta has announced that they will be introducing a Biometrics trial at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The new biometric boarding pass will eventually let passengers use their fingerprint to gain access to the Delta Sky Club, check a bag and board a flight. It is hoped that eventually biometrics will consign paper and mobile boarding passes to aviation history.


The Biometric Trial

The new trial is open to Delta passengers who are already enrolled in the CLEAR system. The trial has two phases, with the first phase already underway. Phase 1 allows travelers to use their fingerprint at the Delta Sky Club. Phase 2 of the trial will allow passengers to use their fingerprint to check in at the Delta Sky Club, check their bags, and even board their flights.

The aim of the pilot project is to test how well the Delta and CLEAR systems work together. If everything goes according to plan, passengers who are enrolled in the CLEAR program will be able to breeze through Washington Airport without the need to pull out a regular boarding pass and identification, which should offer a smooth customer experience. According to Delta COO Gil West, “We’re rapidly moving toward a day when your fingerprint, iris or face will become the only ID you’ll need for any number of transactions throughout a given day.”

Remember, SkyMiles members can receive a discounted CLEAR membership.

How the System Works

In partnership with CLEAR, the system will capture travelers’ biometric data and SkyMiles information at various points in the airport experience.

  • Phase 1: you can enter the Delta Sky Club using one of three scanners
  • Phase 2: the Biometric Passenger ID will be expanded to ticket counters for bag drops, at individual gates for boarding, and at Sky Club desks for entry.

Eventually, the aim is to allow the CLEAR biometric boarding pass holders to move through the airport only using their fingerprint.


The next few years should see some dramatic changes to the way we travel, recently KLM announced a biometric trial for boarding, the Australian government is introducing a biometric process for clearing immigration, and even the US is to implement a facial recognition trial for passengers leaving the US. With advances in technology and a desire to speed up the whole airport experience and enhance security, we can see a time when you do not need to show any documentation to pass through an airport!

Source: Delta

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  • Not sure how I feel about this… It’s one thing to use my fingerprint to login to my phone or computer but something different when another company (an airline in this case) is involved – more personal information for someone to lose in a security breach.

  • I am not a big fan of the idea. Not sure this is in the interest of customers.

  • If this improves security and speed of access, it’s a winner.

  • Hopefully this will speed things up at the airport!

  • Seems like this is thenext wave of digital security

  • This sounds like a GREAT Idea!! Can’t wait to see it in action.

  • as a liberal person i do not want to be traced on my moves. i rather spend time and maybe money to keep my privacy. why not solving the problem by hiring more personal???

    • You’re already tracked and traced with each ticket purchase and flight you take. This is to hopefully expedite that process — I think whether or not we want it, this will eventually be the new norm.

  • Sebastian says:

    IF this is going to happen on all Delta-hubs, I’ll stop flying them. Don’t need the Scan..

  • I’m not sure about this…I don’t feel very comfortable with government agencies collecting/using my biometric info.

  • I’m curious to know how this really works at the SkyClub. I assume it only works if your membership is paid or because of status, correct? For example, I enter SkyClubs with my Amex Plat, so I’d still have to show the card for entry even if they had my biometrics.

  • wow, finally see some technology change in the lounge system..

  • Many of us already use our fingerprints to log in to our phones and computers. But there will always be some people who don’t enroll. Maybe there will be one line (to board first) for those with biometric data on file and those without it can board at the end.

  • clearly the way of the future

  • Nice thing.
    I hope that when these new technologies are implemented there will be less queues at airports.

  • We have biometric scanners at work, I was advised to always look after your fingers e.g don’t get glue or anything that could allter your fingertips. So with what I was advised how does this work for say trades people who regularly use their hands in manual work.

  • Should expedite things once it’s all worked out, but it’s pretty intensive to have prints of everyone on file.

  • Bertrand Say says:

    I cant wait for this to be rolled out nationwide. This will surely cut down on the long lines just to get on the plane.

  • About time the airlines started using technology

  • It is an interesting trial, but I’m not sure I really like the idea of relying on biometrics too much.

  • Another gimmick…they’ll probably need to increase award prices again to make up for the cost of this “enhancement”.

  • Interesting tech!

  • I fly out of ORD so I have not enrolled in Clear. I have Global Entry so I always get TSA precheck.

  • This is really cool yet kinda creepy…

  • Kevin Davis says:

    I think that biometrics is going to be the future regardless if you flying domestic or international.

  • I love hearing about advancements in technology.

  • Things are obviously going this way. It’s a little scary to think how much data about you the government will consume. But…in the airport I think it’s a fair trade off…and face scanning is probably already happening to some degree anyways.

    Wonder if the big cards will start offering Clear registration credit when this takes off.

  • Hopefully this will speed things up.

  • Can’t wait until American gets this so I can stop paying for checked bags… despite being a cardholder!

  • bulstrode says:

    I can’t wait for this! No more so looong lines!