Customers flying Delta can now board using just their fingerprints at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) if they wish. The airline says the is available for customers who are members of Delta's loyalty program SkyMiles, and who have enrolled in CLEAR — an expedited airport security program that costs $179 a year.
Delta started testing its biometric boarding procedure in May. The fingerprinting process allows customers to board an aircraft or enter Delta Sky Club lounges without their ID and ticket. Delta says the final phase of its biometric boarding pass test, which is due "this summer," will allow customers to also use their fingerprints to check-in bags.
"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," said Gil West, Delta's senior executive vice president & chief operating officer in a statement.
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Delta says it is partnering with CLEAR to power the back end of its biometric boarding system, which at the moment is a pilot program. West says partnering with CLEAR has also made it more "scalable" and the process could expand across Delta's domestic network in "a matter of months."
This past year Delta has introduced several new services in a bid to win over more customers including RFID baggage handling that lets customers track where their luggage is via an app. There's no word yet on robots that carry your luggage through the terminal, but we have our fingers crossed.