Delta Introduces Biometric Boarding In Washington D.C. Delta Introduces Biometric Boarding In Washington D.C.

Delta Introduces Biometric Boarding In Washington D.C.

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Recently we reported that Delta would be trialing biometrics for boarding and lounge access. The trial is now live at Reagan International Airport (DCA) in Washington D.C. In the new trial, Delta customers are now using their fingerprint to board flights. This is the latest trial that sees more and more carriers using biometrics to speed up passengers’ progress through airports.


Partnership with CLEAR

The trial is in partnership with CLEAR, so to be eligible to take part you will need to be a CLEAR member. Luckily, CLEAR membership is free for Delta Diamond members, and for Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion members who hold a Delta co-branded credit card, enrollment in CLEAR is discounted and will cost $149. For everyone else, it is $179. To be eligible for the discounted rate, you need to hold one of the following Delta credit cards:

Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

What Next?

The trial still has a few phases to run and should include using your fingerprint to access the Delta Sky Club and ultimately should allow you to use your biometrics to drop off your checked bag. Long term, the days of the traditional boarding pass seem to be numbered.

Our Take

This is another great move, with ever-tighter security measures at airports slowing down the flow, airlines taking steps to speed the process up could only be a good thing and bring back some pleasure to the whole airport experience. Delta joins a host of airlines including JetBlue who are trialing new biometric procedures to speed things up. Hopefully, governments will get in on the act and adopt technology to expedite immigration and security procedures.

Source: The Points Guy

5 / 5 - (10 votes)
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  • When the system is working as it should this will be great. When the system is down this will be a nightmare!

  • If this speeds up security I am all for it. I also see it being expensive trial that may never become the norm. Not happy about the privacy issue with the prints

  • I wonder how reliable fingerprint scanning will be at airports…I have trouble times to times unlocking my iPhone with my own fingerprint!

  • I will be surprised if this saves much time, and it seems to introduce several more points of failure

  • I will believe this will speed things up when I see it. It sounds like when they rolled out Chip and Signature cards. It was much faster to swipe a card than to input it, wait for the chip to process and beep, remove the card and sign in the box on the screen.

  • Matt Roche says:

    And what about those among us who don’t want to give biometric data to the government?

  • We should wait for the result of the “experiment” and know about the advantages and disadvantages.
    Moreover, some more info about the stored data it would be appreciated. Especially when involve a private company.

  • Jacqueline parsons says:

    Trades persons or jobs involving hand use heavily will cause issues with this system.

  • Anything to assist security and speed things up is a big plus.

  • I have Global Entry which comes with TSA-Precheck. I am not planning on getting CLEAR too.

  • Rob Arias says:

    Hopefully it’ll make boarding easier down the line though it’d be interesting to see how it affects travel now

  • Hopefully this will turn out to be a viable solution, and not be just an expensive gimmick that causes delays

  • Anybody experienced this yet? How was it?

  • We are not at Gattica yet!

  • Quite exciting! How it works out well and makes the flying process much more efficient

  • Even at the reduced rate for cardholders, CLEAR is too expensive if you rarely fly from the few airports that use it.
    When they have more airports, I’ll sign up and then I’ll be able to participate in these biometric trials. Until then, I’ll just use the old fashioned electronic boarding pass on my phone! I’m such a Luddite!

  • this is the trend for the future.

  • Health care workers wash their hands a lot, making fingerprint unreadable over the years. We use biometric for timekeeping and it can be slow when the machine cannot read the print.

    • charles j says:

      Bricklayers work with limestone, which wears away their fingerprint. This could be problematic for a few groups of people, but it would work for most. I wonder if there will be heightened suspicion on those groups it doesn’t work for.

  • Bertrand Say says:

    Hope this leads to shorter lines at the airport.

  • Eh…I just get to the airport early and do some work on my phone while I wait in line. Not much use for me

    I am getting the global entry end of year though but just cuz its free

  • Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • angelo fonseca says:

    great. more safety and faster boarding procedures.

  • finally my clear membership may have some benefits to it

  • I struggle to see any point during the security and boarding process where you could save substantial time with a biometric scan.

  • What exactly is the advantage here? Current boarding passes scan so quickly, no chance fingerprints get scanned as quickly. This will just end up taking longer. Even if this were free I’d still choose the old fashioned way.
    I hope this trial remains nothing more than a 1 airport trial.

    • I feel that it’s probably more a case of this heading off something else.. i.e how long will they allow just a barcode on a piece of paper?

    • jason picker says:

      I agree with poster “MO” 100% here.
      I see no advantage to it as a consumer.

  • Get used to it”” biometrics quickly replacing the written ID