TSA continues test of ID scan with no boarding pass required

Jan 09, 2018
A TSA agent checks IDs and boarding passes of travelers making their way through a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2010. Credit: Bita Honarvar.

The Transportation Security Administration is continuing into 2018 a test of technology to scan IDs for passengers’ flight status, with no boarding pass required in certain PreCheck lanes.

The test of credential authentication technology started last summer in PreCheck lanes at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and several other airports, including Washington Reagan, Chicago O’Hare, Boston Logan, Austin and Washington Dulles. It was originally expected to extend through the summer.

However, passengers in certain PreCheck lanes at the Atlanta airport may notice the technology is still being tested.

The technology takes advantage of passenger flight information in a database of passenger information called Secure Flight, which TSA uses to check passengers against a terrorist watchlist before they fly. After TSA matches the information against the watchlist, it transmits the results back to airlines to issue or deny boarding passes.

In the test, travelers hand their ID to the TSA officer in the PreCheck line, but are not asked for boarding passes — unless the system has a problem accessing the passenger’s boarding information.

Passengers will still need their paper or electronic boarding pass to board their flight at the gate.

However, a separate test launched last year at a Washington, D.C. airport aims to transform that step as well.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines in July said it had started a test allowing passengers who have Clear trusted traveler memberships to use their fingerprints as proof of identity to board flights at Reagan National. TSA has also tested the use of fingerprints in PreCheck lanes.

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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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