Delta Air Lines’ biometric passenger processing system has been in place at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for a couple of months now, but there are still some hiccups in its operation, according to an AJC report.
The product of a collaboration with the US Customs and Border Protection agency, the biometric system’s launch was announced in September. In keeping with other deployments in the CBP’s expanding biometric border control program, the system uses facial recognition to identify travelers, matching their faces to their travel documents. But the system leverages biometric identification not only for border screening but also for check-in, baggage drop, and boarding through Concourse F for the airport’s international flights.
Technologically impressive though it may be, the system’s benefits to customers appear to be somewhat meagre so far. As AJC reports, the system only saves each passenger about two seconds, on average. And in one to two percent of cases, it fails to match a traveler to their passport. Moreover, travelers still need to show their boarding passes at a TSA checkpoint.
Still, there are advantages nevertheless. Those time savings of two seconds per passenger can add up to as much as nine minutes for a larger plane’s overall boarding time, and the biometric system offers a security boost beyond border screening by reliably identifying the vast majority of passengers throughout the boarding process. And passengers certainly don’t seem to mind it, with Delta reporting that less than two percent are opting out of the biometric screening.
Accordingly, airport officials are planning to further expand the program to domestic flights, and Delta says it’s now working to bring the biometric technology to international gates at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
November 30, 2018 – by Alex Perala