Delta Air Lines is now letting travelers board planes with fingerprints instead of boarding passes, if they're flying out of Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport and have CLEAR memberships for access to special security lines.
Delta chief operating officer Gil West said in a written statement that the airline could roll out the technology throughout the airline's domestic network "in a matter of months."
The technology reduces the need to carry documents through the airport and pull them out at various checkpoints.
Atlanta-based Delta said its SkyMiles frequent flier members who are enrolled in CLEAR can use their fingerprints as proof of identity to board a plane at Reagan National. The airline earlier this year started using the technology for fingerprint access to the Sky Club at Washington Reagan.
One catch: A Clear membership costs $179 a year. Delta frequent fliers get discounts on Clear memberships. The cost of a Clear membership for Delta SkyMiles members is $99 annually and less for elite members of the program.
Delta bought a 5 percent stake in biometric technology identification firm CLEAR and is partnering with the company to integrate the technology into its operations. CLEAR's technology powers the "back end" of the new Delta boarding pass system.
The airline plans to later this summer launch technology to allow Clear members to check a bag using their fingerprints.
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," according to West.
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Delta testing facial recognition technology, self-service bag drop Atlanta-based Delta said its SkyMiles frequent flier members who are enrolled in CLEAR can use their fingerprints as proof of identity to board a plane at Reagan National.