Delta passengers check their bags and pick up their tickets at the counter at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Several airlines have added fees for checked luggage.
Photo: Johnny Crawford
Photo: Johnny Crawford

Delta testing system to replace boarding pass with fingerprints

Delta Air Lines is testing a system to replace boarding passes with fingerprints.

To start, Delta is testing a system to allow travelers to enter a Sky Club at Washington’s Reagan National Airport using their fingerprints.

The vision is for travelers to one day be able to move through the airport without having to pull out their ID and boarding pass as many times as they do today.

The test applies to Delta SkyMiles members who have Sky Club memberships and are enrolled with biometric identification technology firm Clear, which has a membership-based service for private airport security lines.

The Atlanta-based airline is partnering with Clear and bought a 5 percent stake in the company.

Sky Club memberships cost $495 a year.

Clear memberships normally cost $179 a year, but through a partnership with Delta SkyMiles members pay $99 a year or less depending on their elite status with the frequent flier program.

Delta has three scanners at the Reagan Sky Club to allow frequent flier members enrolled in Clear to use their fingerprints as proof of identity.

Eventually, the airline plans to let members use fingerprints to check bags and board flights.

“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,” said Delta chief operating officer Gil West in a written statement.

Delta said it will study findings from the test to determine next steps.

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AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

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