International travelers flying direct out of Atlanta will soon be able to do away with showing their passports to every airport official as they rush from curb to gate, thanks to facial recognition technology.
Delta Air Lines announced Thursday that it has teamed up with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to bring the first biometric terminal in the U.S. to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Passengers who choose to use the optional Delta Biometrics service will find facial recognition technology throughout Terminal F, which they can use to check in at self-service kiosks, drop off their checked luggage, pass through the TSA checkpoint, and board flights.
Likewise, international travelers coming to the U.S. will be able to use the technology when they arrive at Customs and Border Protection.
To use the service, international travelers will enter their passport information when they check in online, or when they first arrive at the airport. At each touch point, those using the service will be prompted to look at a screen or camera before they are approved to pass through.
Although passengers will not need to whip out their passports every step of the way, they are still advised to bring this essential document for the remainder of their trip.
Delta says that the technology cuts down on the flight time by up to nine minutes per flight. This, in addition to the Computed Tomography (CT) scanners at Terminal F, should save travelers time and make the airport experience slightly less chaotic.
Passengers flying with partner airlines — Aeromexico, Air France-KLM, and Virgin Atlantic Airways — may also use the technology.
"Launching the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world's busiest airport means we're bringing the future of flying to customers traveling around the globe," Delta COO Gil West said in a statement.
According to TravelMole, the technology will first be available at Concourse F gates on Oct. 15, and then throughout the rest of the terminal by Dec. 1.
The introduction of this new technology follows years of testing at ATL, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"The expansion of biometrics and facial recognition throughout the airport environment represents the next generation of security identification technology," TSA administrator David Pekoske said. "TSA is committed to working with great partners like Delta, ATL and CBP on deploying new capabilities like these."